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The Lee Family

    In General 
  • Animal Motifs: Red pandas. All of the females in the family possess the ability to turn into giant red pandas (although they can remove this ability by sealing their spirit away via a ritual), the temple has two red panda statues outside (as well as other red panda themed artwork), and the gift shop at the temple is shown to sell red panda merchandise (including items made by Mei and her friends).
  • Animorphism: All female descendants of Sun Yee possess the ability to transform into giant red pandas.
  • Badass Family: They're a (mostly female) family who all possess the ability to transform into red pandas, which makes them stronger and more agile than their human forms.
  • Emotional Powers: Their transformations are triggered whenever they experience high emotions (such as fear, anger or excitement). Also deconstructed in that being emotionally unstable in any manner can cause quite a bit of problems. The only way to prevent this is to fully accept the red panda spirit, as Sun Yee did and Mei does when she chooses to keep her panda.
  • Expressive Ears: The red panda forms of the Lee women have the large ears natural to real red pandas. As expected, their ears move in response to their emotional states, drooping, perking, and pushing back in response.
  • Four Is Death: All of them (with the exception of Mei) hold this viewpoint, which is implied to be one of the reasons for their hatred of 4*Town. The epilogue implies that they lost their hatred for the band, and are now on friendly terms with them, however.
  • Heroic Lineage: All the women of the family are descendants of Sun Yee and have inherited her power to transform into a superpowered mystical red panda.
  • The Power of Family: No matter how much they may like (or dislike) each other, they're still willing to pull together and help each other in times of crisis. This is shown especially when Wu and the four aunties help Mei pull the unconscious Ming back into the circle.
  • Powers via Possession: Each of them is host to a red panda spirit that enables them to transform to a mystical red panda.
  • Superpowered Alter Ego: Downplayed. The red panda spirit is a separate entity that gives its host the power to transform physically into a super-powered mystical red panda. However, the panda spirit doesn't take control when in panda form; the panda still has the host's personality, just a lot more emotional, more impulse-driven and less inhibited.
  • Transformation Trinket: Each has a talisman that they can break to free the panda spirit within and transform to their red panda forms. Well, all of them except for Mei.

    Meilin Lee 

Meilin "Mei"/"Mei-Mei" Lee
"This is going to be the best year ever! And nothing's gonna get in my way!"
Click here to see what got in her way.
Click here to see human Mei after she gains her panda form
Voiced by: Rosalie Chiang (English)
The 13-year-old confident, competitive, and dorky protagonist of Turning Red. Looking forward to a new school semester, Mei suddenly finds her "perfect life" is turned upside down when she begins to transform into a huge red panda. Mei soon discovers she has no control over her transformations, as they are involuntarily triggered whenever she's in a state of extreme emotion.
  • 13th Birthday Milestone: As the movie starts, Mei has recently turned 13 and thinks she's now a grownup, able to do her own thing 24/7/365, just because the Toronto Transit Commission gives her an ID at this age and also because she's still a kid. Shortly afterward, she starts experiencing puberty as well as the family power handed down from her ancestor Sun Yee, which causes her to transform into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited, angry, or scared.
  • Academic Athlete: Mei starts out the movie as a straight-A student, and a few shots early in the movie linger on the trophies and prizes she has won from various competitions — badminton and flute are the ones that can be read.
  • Acrofatic: In red panda form, she's large and pretty chubby, but she's remarkably agile for her size and can run at impressive speeds and leap great distances when the time calls for it.
  • Action Girl: Downplayed. Despite her panda being meant as a weapon, she generally doesn't use it as such. However, the climax shows she's more than capable of becoming this if the situation calls for it, as shown when she fights her own mother at the concert.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Meilin's father Jin and her friends Priya, Miriam, and Abby call her "Mei". Her mother, grandmother, and aunties call her "Mei-Mei".
  • Adorable Fluffy Tail: When Mei, struggling with her new ability to turn into a giant red panda when she gets emotional, accidentally reveals herself to her best friends, the first thing Abby does is scream, "You're so fluffy!" and bury her face in Mei's fur, while Priya plays with her huge fluffy tail.
  • All-Loving Hero: Downplayed. She's certainly not immune to anger, but Mei is a kind, compassionate girl who absolutely loves — nay, adores her friends, family, and animals in general, embraces all labels, and doesn't hold grudges, quickly forgiving both Ming and Tyler despite everything they've done to her.
  • Animal Lover: The first page of the movie's Little Golden Books adaptation reveals that Mei loves animals. A deleted scene also features her standing up for animals' rights.
  • Animorphism: Whenever Mei experiences strong emotions (like getting stressed or excited), she turns into a giant red panda, much to her annoyance.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Mei is Chinese-Canadian, and she's depicted as a straight-A student and general overachiever. On the geekier end, she wears a calculator wristwatch and carries a Tamagotchi with her pretty much everywhere.
  • Badass Adorable: She's ridiculously cute in panda form, and not bad looking in human form either. She's also badass enough to hold her own against her ginormous red panda mother, and headbutts her unconscious.
  • Bad Liar: Mei is a terrible liar. The only person she can successfully deceive is her mother, and that's only because Ming can't imagine her "perfect little Mei-Mei" lying at all, much less lying to her.
  • Berserk Button: While Mei might have family problems, insulting said family is a very good way to make her mad. When Tyler tells her to "go back to [her] psycho mom and [her] creepy temple", Mei immediately pounces on Tyler, snarling and spitting at him, even picking him up and shoving him back down to the ground repeatedly. It takes Ming physically showing up to try and calm Mei down before she lets go of Tyler, and even then, Mei has to get in a declaration of hate before she finally releases him and looks around and sees all the guests are now terrified of her.
  • Bespectacled Cutie: When in her human form, she wears glasses and has a fairly innocent design.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's generally a genial, friendly kid, but she can be a real firebrand when she's angry. Even before the red panda enters the picture, she doesn't hesitate to go after three punks who are spraying graffiti on the outer wall of the family temple. With the red panda she can be downright terrifying. Tyler finds this out when he insults her once too often. She even takes down her mom while Ming is a gigantic panda Kaiju!
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Applies mainly to her panda form. While she's using it to entertain her classmates (and earning money toward concert tickets), she's far more goofy and energetic than she used to be, so that everyone sees the panda as a Ridiculously Cute Critter that's also Big Fun. None of them realize just how dangerous the panda is until Tyler provokes Mei once too often while she's in panda form, and she loses her temper and attacks him. It was originally meant for protecting against marauding soldiers after all.
  • Big Eater: Implied. One of Mei's family photos seen in the opening depicts her about to eat an entire table full of food, and Ming later makes a dinner consisting of all of Mei's favorite foods which also fills the entire table. At Tyler's birthday party, she's seen devouring whole slices of cake.
  • Brainy Brunette: Pre-transformation, she had dark hair and was a straight-A student. Interestingly, after she gains her red panda form (which turns her hair red), her grades start to slip due to her neglecting studying in favor of merchandising her panda form.
  • Break the Cutie: Mei starts the movie as a cute, smart, confident girl who honestly believes she's in full control of herself and her life. Then in short order she gets horribly and publicly embarrassed by her mother twice, discovers the red panda transformation (which she finds horrifying), finds she has no control at all over the red panda transformation, has to run home across town in broad daylight in her monstrous panda form, and discovers her parents knew about the red panda and didn't warn her. Finally, she finds herself facing solitary confinement for a month, living in an empty bedroom, cut off from friends, school, and everything she enjoys in her life. She doesn't regain her confidence until after her friends promise they will never abandon her and she learns how to properly control her panda form.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mei does this in both the beginning and ending, speaking directly to the audience and at one point in the epilogue, pulls the transition to Wu from the side.
  • Broken Ace: Mei is shown to be quite academically skilled and talented, getting straight-As, being musically talented, and fluent in French. However, all the perfectionism gets to her after her transformation, as she gets tired of being "perfect little Mei-Mei" all the time. She eventually admits that she'd actually been feeling the pressure long before she started transforming.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': After she realizes she's got a crush on Devon, the Daisy Mart clerk, Mei starts drawing some pretty provocative sketches of the two of them. Judging by her expressions and reactions, it's the first time she's ever had this sort of reaction to a boy. Within minutes of drawing them, Mei's mother catches her, sees the drawings, and goes berserk. Mei even chastises herself for it.
    Mei: (talking to herself) You sicko! What were you thinking? Why would you draw those things?! Those horrible, awful, sexy things?!
  • Celeb Crush: She has a special one for Robaire from her favorite Boy Band, 4*Town.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: At the climax of the film, she calls out her own mother for her overprotectiveness and her refusal to let her be herself, and reveals that everything she (Mei) did was her own choice, rather than her friends pressuring her into it.
    Mei: I'm not your little Mei-Mei, anymore! I LIED, mom!
    Ming: WHAT?
    Mei: It was my idea to hustle the panda, my idea to go to Tyler's party, it was all me! I like boys, I like loud music, I like gyrating! I'm thirteen — DEAL WITH IT!!
  • Character Tics: When in red panda form, Mei raises her arms whenever she gets startled, which is something real red pandas do when startled.
  • Cheerful Child: Initially, she's just a Cute Clumsy Girl overachiever on the cusp of adolescence. However, she starts becoming more energetic and excitable after being encouraged to embrace her red panda.
  • Cheery Pink: When Mei starts embracing the panda more, she starts showing off the pink polo shirt underneath her red cardigan, and becomes even more cheerful.
  • Color Motif: Red. Mei wears a red cardigan, she turns into a red panda, and the dream she has is depicted in red lighting. This makes sense, as red is an important color in Chinese culture, symbolizing luck, joy, happiness, and celebration. Lampshaded by her father:
    Jin: (to Mei) Red is a lucky color.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: As the movie goes on, Mei becomes conflicted between remaining Ming's dutiful daughter or loosening up and being true to herself with her friends. It eventually culminates in Mei being forced to choose between having her red panda spirit extracted per her family's wishes or going to the 4*Town concert to reconcile with her friends. She ultimately chooses the latter.
  • Control Freak: Mei has clearly absorbed a lot of her mother Ming's control-freak tendencies. In Mei's case, this shows itself primarily as a need to maintain control of herself at all times. When her self-control is broken, first by her sudden crush on store clerk Devon and second by her inability to control or even understand the red panda transformation, the effect on her is shattering. She gets much better about this while hustling the panda for concert money, because to make that work, she has to learn how to loosen up a little.
  • Covert Pervert: Despite having a cute and innocent demeanor, she draws shirtless drawings of convenience store clerk Devon portrayed seductively in anime style and with abs, and gushes over the "hotness" of her Celeb Crush Robaire from 4*Town.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: She's not very light on her feet. When she tries to do a spontaneous cartwheel, she stumbles halfway through and falls to the ground. When she first gets her red panda form, she is unused to its size and mass, and unintentionally causes a lot of property damage.
  • Cute Giant: Mei can turn into a giant red panda, and it's made clear (both in-universe and out-of-universe) that people find her new form utterly adorable.
  • Cute Little Fangs: When she's partially transformed, her canines get slightly pointier.
  • The Cutie: Mei has a cute demeanor and design. Her cuteness peaks when she turns into a panda and embraces her Genki Girl nature.
  • Daddy's Girl: While her relationship with Ming is complicated, especially with regards to her transformation and interests, Jin encourages her to stay true to herself. Also, despite it being a secret, he loves 4*Town just as much as she does.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Downplayed in the first act, but after she starts embracing the panda she definitely turns the snark levels up a notch or two, usually towards her mom. She really lets her inner snarker out in the climax, when she's trying to distract her mom, who is in her Kaiju-sized red panda form.
    What's wrong? Is this bothering you?
  • Declaration of Personal Independence: The decision to keep her red panda spirit is this for Mei. She isn't sure if it's the right thing to do, and openly worries about whether she'll regret it later, but it's her decision and she sticks to it.
    Mei: My panda, my choice, Mom.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of the "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl. She's trying so hard to be her mother Ming's "perfect little Mei-Mei" that Mei has trouble setting boundaries with her mother, even when Mei thinks that Ming's going too far. She has to constantly lie to her mother and sneak around to do the things she wants to do behind her back. It comes to a head when Ming accuses Mei's friends of doing things that were actually Mei's ideas in the first place, and Mei throws her friends under the bus rather than argue with her mom. Mei does eventually realize that she's made a terrible mistake, but it takes a sincere apology and an act of open rebellion to get Mei to realize that.
  • Did I Say That Out Loud: During her Freak Out in the shower, she says "I'm a gross red monster" loud enough for her mom to hear, and then instantly tells herself to stop talking.
  • Double Jump: As Mei is roofhopping to the 4*Town concert, she discovers that she can get an extra boost by changing between her normal and panda forms in mid-air. She later puts this ability to good use while battling her mother's giant red panda form.
  • Dramatic Sit-Down: Mei does this twice, first in the temple after she hears she has to wait a month to be rid of the red panda, and again when she starts crying while her friends are visiting.
  • Driven to Villainy: Downplayed. Mei is in no way a villain, and doesn't really want to rebel against her mother, until Ming refuses to let her go to the 4*Town concert in spite of how hard Mei has worked to meet Ming's expectations, and even managed to control her panda transformations. At that point, Mei's desire to see 4*Town, combined with her budding teen rebelliousness, drives her to decide (with her friends' strong agreement) that if all her effort isn't going to be rewarded no matter what she does, then there's no point in being obedient or trying to live up to Ming's expectations anyway.
    Mei: We need to see this concert! Why doesn't my mom get that?! I never ask for anything! My whole life, I've been her perfect little Mei-Mei! [...] We've been so good! If they don't trust us anyway, then what's the point?!
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite throttling Tyler and bringing him to pained tears when she reacts to him mocking her family, Tyler himself doesn't seem to hold any hard feelings over it (presumably even he acknowledged that it was stupid to anger something that's 8-foot tall). He joins her group with zero fuss and never mentions it again.
  • Emotional Powers: Her red panda transformation is triggered whenever she feels any sort of strong emotion (happiness, excitement, fear, anger, etc.). She reverts back to normal once she calms down.
  • Expressive Ears: When she's in her red panda form, Mei's ears indicate her general emotional state: joy, fear, anger, worry, etc.
  • Eye Colour Change: Mei's irises change from brown to dark red when her red panda powers activate, to go with her hair turning bright red. This becomes more apparent when she gets angry in her panda form due to them turning a brighter shade.
  • Fangirl: She's a huge fan of the Boy Band 4*Town, and she gets especially excited over Robaire, her favourite member of the group. Unfortunately, she can't be completely open about it at home, since her mother thinks they're a bunch of delinquents.
  • Fat Comic Relief: Downplayed. There are a few gags about the size and weight of her red-panda form, but they disappear quickly as she learns to control it better.
  • Fell Asleep Crying: Mei cries herself to sleep after the first disastrous day of dealing with her giant red panda form.
  • Fiery Redhead: She gains red hair in her human form after gaining her panda form. Downplayed at first, as she tries to keep her emotions under wrap, but eventually played straight as she becomes more accepting of her panda form as well as her own quirks.
  • Flashback-Montage Realization: This is used to show Mei's epiphany about the red panda during the banishing ritual. In the space of a few seconds she relives numerous memories from her time as the panda, both good and bad, all adding up to the realization that the panda has become an important part of who and what she is, and she doesn't want to lose it.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The optimist. Mei always looks at the glass half full and accepts and embraces all labels.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The sanguine. Mei is cheerful, friendly, and optimistic, but also submissive to her mother's discipline.
  • Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't: Early in the movie, Mei is shown to be happy and energetic — even a bit arrogant — at school and around her friends. However, around her mother she's more meek and submissive. This conflict becomes much more intense after she starts transforming: confined to her bedroom, with no support from her mother, she can't control the panda at all. But around her friends and their open and loving support, she's able to achieve almost complete control of the panda with very little trouble. She realizes her love for her friends must be stronger than her love of her family for that to be the case.
  • Genki Girl: Initially, Mei puts on a cool, laid-back front. However, after gaining her panda form, she learns to embrace her emotions and becomes much more energetic, hyperactive, and excitable.
  • Gentle Giant: Her red panda form is massive and extremely powerful, but after learning how to control it, Mei is careful with her newfound strength and makes sure not to injure anyone. She remains a friendly and exceptionally dorky kid nevertheless, and as an added bonus, she's an excellent hugger thanks to how fluffy and plump she is in panda form. However, she will lose her temper if pushed hard enough, so it's not a good idea to provoke her.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Mei has a shelf-full of stuffed animals in her bedroom. One in particular, named Wilfred, has been with her for years, and is clearly her Security Blanket. The animals become a plot point when she uses them to make a Sleeping Dummy so she can slip out to go to Tyler's birthday party.
  • Granola Girl: Mei is passionate about preserving the ecosystem. One of her stickers reads "Save the whales", a deleted scene is her railing about her ecological cause, and deforestation and animals in cages are two of the triggers her parents tested her with.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • After finding out that her transformations are hereditary, and then overhearing her parents outside her room, she completely breaks down over the fact that she might be stuck with her panda form for a while, and that her parents aren't doing anything to help her, which leads to her trying to rip her panda parts off in an attempt to get rid of it. She manages to calm down for a while when her friends show up, but breaks down again when she reminds herself that she might never be rid of her red panda form.
    • After attacking Tyler at his party, she remains completely silent after she sees the guests backing away from her and realises she could have hurt him. This affects her so much that she doesn't even stand up for her friends when Ming accuses them of corrupting her.
    • She has a third one when she see that she accidentally knocked her mom unconscious while fighting her, and runs up to try and take her back to circle, apologising as she's doing so. It takes her grandma helping her to snap her out of it.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Mei has recently turned 13 at the start of the movie, and quickly develops a Precocious Crush on Devon, which manifests itself in some fairly suggestive drawings, much to her embarrassment. She also tends to Squee over Robaire, her favourite member of the Boy Band 4*Town, and briefly gets distracted when she spots a Pretty Boy classmate in the halls at school. During the climax of the movie, while Mei is Calling the Old Woman Out at Ming, she even tells Ming to "deal with it" over the fact that Mei likes typical teenage girl things: boys, loud music, and gyrating. Mei also gives a mock apology over the fact she can't be perfect all the time like Ming wants, because she's growing up and is well-aware of it.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Played for Drama. Mei figures out the connection between getting excited and transforming pretty quickly, but also finds that having that knowledge and being able to use it are two different things. Because the transformation is caused by Mei feeling any sort of strong emotion, she keeps changing when she doesn't want to change, and the more she fights it the more often she transforms. Showing no emotion at all doesn't work either; she just can't keep it up for very long. It's only when she learns how to use her friends for inner support that she gets it partially under control. After the ritual where she chooses to keep the red panda instead of getting rid of it, Mei gains full control of her panda form, allowing her to transform at will.
  • I Am a Monster: She feels this way briefly after her first transformation, and even more so after her parents strip her bedroom to bare walls. She shakes it off with her friends' help, but falls into it again when she attacks and wounds Tyler in a fit of rage after he insults her mother and temple. This is not helped by her mother's Psychological Projection, as the latter (and by extension, all the female members of her family) sees the red panda as "an inconvenience" at best and "a bad thing that must be purged" at worst.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Much like the family members before her, Mei sees her red panda form as a curse with no benefit to the point of repressing her emotions and actively injuring herself to keep from transforming. It's only with her friends' encouragement that Mei learns to move past this and accept her new form.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: She basically looks like her voice actor in CGI animated form, minus the hair post-transformation.
  • Keeping the Handicap: As the film goes on, Mei grows reluctant to get rid of the red panda, and gives up entirely on getting rid of it when she recognizes the positive effect it has had on her life. In the end, while the rest of her family choose to re-exorcise their red panda spirits, she keeps her own, accepting it as a part of her. Becomes a subversion when she discovers that by embracing the panda spirit she has gained complete control over it, so that it's not a handicap at all anymore.
  • Kiddie Kid: Downplayed. While Mei is your typical junior high girl who is experiencing the awkward emotions of puberty, crushes on older guys, idolizes a Boy Band with K-pop and Western influences, and often separates herself from her family to hang out with her friends, part of her is still a little girl, as she carries around a Tamagotchi, decorates her room with stuffed animals, and sleeps with one of those animals, her stuffed dog Wilfred, as a Security Blanket.
  • Large Runt: Mei's panda form is around 9 feet tall, easily twice the size of an adult human, but it's easily dwarfed by both Grandma Wu and her aunties' roughly 20- to 30-foot-tall panda forms, and Ming's kaiju-sized one. It's implied to be because she's still young.
  • Life of the Party: Tyler's birthday party is dull verging on dead until Mei arrives and transforms. She throws all her energy into making the party memorable and fun for everyone present.
    Mei: Let's hear it for the birthday boy!
    (all the kids start cheering)
  • Lightning Bruiser: In her red panda form, Mei performs some impressive feats of speed and strength such as leaping all the way to her home from atop a building blocks away (but not sticking the landing) and being able to lift her three friends together with little effort. When she learns to swap between normal and panda form on the fly, she gains even more momentum from the pink dust clouds propelling her forward.
  • Literal Transformative Experience: The red panda transformation. First, it forces her to give up on her previous desire for complete self-control. Second, the way she and her friends successfully conceive and execute the entire "hustle the panda for concert-ticket money" scheme gives her a new level of self-confidence and independence, not to mention the way it adds enormously to her ability to have fun with other kids. Finally, the panda becomes the vehicle by which she breaks out of the "perfect little Mei-Mei" role that her mother had imposed on her.
  • Locked into Strangeness: The red panda transformation also gives the naturally black-haired Mei bright red hair in human form. After she decides to keep the red panda form, it's implied it'll be like that permanently.
  • Magic Pants: Her clothes and glasses disappear whenever she becomes a red panda and reappear when she turns back to normal.
  • Mama's Boy: A gender-flipped and deconstructed version. Mei is the apple of her mother's eye, and the two are described as joined at the hip. While Mei loves her mother very much, she admits that she's always felt pressured by Ming's perfectionism, and is disgusted by how her mother blames her friends and peers for her choices. It comes to a head when Mei rebels against sealing away her panda spirit. After battling Ming's giant panda, Mei reconciles with her mother after understanding what she went through in her teen years.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Her nickname is pronounced similarly to the Mandarin Chinese word-phrase for "little sister" (妹妹, mèimei). While Mei doesn't have siblings, she seems to be the youngest person in her extended family.
    • Her given name as a whole applies if going by the dub transcriptions of her name:
      • In the Mandarin dubs for both the Mainland and Taiwan, her given name is transcribed as 美玲 (Měilíng), a common feminine Chinese name.note 
      • In the Cantonese dub, her given name is transcribed as 美蓮 (Méihlìhn, or Mei-lin), meaning "beautiful lotus". In traditional Chinese literature, the lotus flower symbolizes purity and incorruptibility, as it is clean even though it grows in the mud, which may hint towards her mother's perfectionistic expectations towards her.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: As a red panda, Mei sometimes displays mannerisms that are commonly seen in real red pandas: she runs on all fours, raises her arms when startled, flattens and perks up her ears to show various emotions, and curls into a ball with her tail covering her face when upset.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • After she reaches her Rage Breaking Point and transforms into her panda form in the middle of a maths class thanks to Ming spying on her, she quickly manages to calm down and is visibly horrified when she looks around, and then at herself, realising that A) she could have easily hurt someone, and B) she just revealed her red panda form to her mother, who she’d been trying to hide it from.
    • She's ashamed with herself after she loses her cool and nearly maims Tyler during his birthday party while in her red panda form. She's even more ashamed when her "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl tendencies lead to Mei throwing her friends under the bus rather than argue with her mom when Ming accuses Mei's friends of "corrupting" her mind, and she remain uncharacteristically silent as she undergoes a Heroic BSoD on the way back home. It takes Jin talking to Mei to break her out of it.
    • In a case of "My God, What Am I Doing?", she has a moment of this during the red moon ritual when she's having her Flashback-Montage Realization, realizing that by getting rid of the panda, she'd be getting rid of part of herself.
    • During the climax of the movie, after fighting Ming in her giant red panda form, she is deeply distraught when she sees that she knocked her mom unconscious.
  • Nerd Glasses: Downplayed. While she does wear glasses and she's certainly a big nerd, her glasses are not the kind of ill-fitting monstrosities that scream "nerd" to everyone in sight.
  • Nice Girl: Downplayed. Mei is a touch on the arrogant side and definitely has a temper, but when the chips are down she cares about the people around her and about doing the Right Thing. She's devoted to her family and her friends, and will put their welfare ahead of her own.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: After she wakes up as a red panda, Mei has to struggle to turn herself back into a human girl. Eventually, she manages to do it and make it stick. For a moment, she thinks everything's back to normal. Then she sees herself in her bedroom mirror, and realizes her hair is still bright red instead of its original black.note 
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • She's visibly horrified when she realises her mom is spying on and embarrassing her while she's in maths class.
    • She gets an ever bigger one when she learns that the 4*Town concert is on May 25th, the same night as the red moon ritual.
  • Older Than They Look: Mei is 13 but looks young enough to pass for 9 or 10, based on her relatively small height and the art style not emphasizing on her pubertal physical traits.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: In this case, "nicknames". Her real name is Meilin, yet her friends call her "Mei" while her family members call her "Mei-Mei". It's rare that you will hear people call her by her full name of "Meilin" at any point — the only person who does with any consistency is Tyler.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • When she first discovers her red panda form and is desperately trying to hide it from Ming in the bathroom, Mei angrily yells at her mom to Get Out! before immediately regretting it. For Mei, who still deeply respects her mother and tries to keep a perfect image around her by that point, it shows just how badly the red panda transformation's broken her self-control.
    • When she's at school after her first transformation, Mei wears a red toque to hide her red hair and starts speaking robotically in order to suppress her emotions. Her friends quickly notice this, with Miriam passing her notes in maths class to see if she's okay.
    • Mei, who talks about respecting your family and ancestors, tries to tear apart the shrine of her ancestor on learning the truth about why she turned into a red panda. She screams "It's your fault!" as her parents try to calm her down.
    • When she first arrives at Tyler's party after being told not to use her panda form by her grandma, she wears her cardboard red panda costume (rather than being in her real red panda form, like she agreed), and starts acting goofy. Her friends quickly pick up on this and take her to a corner to ask her what is wrong.
  • Overly-Nervous Flop Sweat: She sweats bullets when Ming is on the verge of looking at her notebook with all the pictures she drew of Devon in it.
  • Partial Transformation: While struggling to keep her emotions under control (such as when Tyler is mocking her), parts of her body uncontrollably shift into red panda form. By the end of the movie, Mei has gained enough control over her red panda form that she can just manifest its ears and tail alone if she wants.
  • Personal Horror: The red panda transformation shatters Mei's self-control; she wants desperately to get rid of it and be her old self again, but the more she fights to repress it, the more often she transforms. At the same time, the discovery that her parents knew about the panda and didn't warn her breaks her trust in them in a way that she never dreamed possible.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Mei's the pink girl to Tyler's blue boy. Mei wears a pink shirt (particularly noticeable once she embraces her panda form and ditches her red cardigan) while Tyler wears a blue basketball uniform and headband.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Mei's human form has her wear a pink shirt, pink socks, and carry around a pink Tamagotchi. She's also quite the Granola Girl, loves and protects animals, has a room full of stuffed animals, and idolizes a boy group inspired by both K-Pop and Western boy bands.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: Her red panda spirit is practically bawling its eyes out as Mei goes through the red moon ritual to banish it into a talisman. This forces her to rethink and relive all of the happy moments it has brought her and her friends. Mei refuses to separate from it, acknowledging that the red panda is part of her.
  • Plucky Girl: After the Trauma Conga Line she endures in the first act, you wouldn't be surprised if she broke down — and in fact she does, for a while. But with the support of her friends she comes back strong. It quickly becomes clear that Mei always looks for the bright side of things, and she won't let anything stop her from achieving her goal-of-the-moment, whether it's getting top grades, entertaining the temple visitors, getting home to hide her red panda form, getting to the 4*Town Concert, or even fighting her mother's towering kaiju-panda form.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Her hair turns from black to vivid red after she gains her Animorphism powers.
  • The Power of Friendship: She manages to gain control over her transformations by thinking of her friends in an emotionally centering Happy Place.
  • Power Incontinence: She initially struggles to control her Animorphism, but gradually gains better control over time.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: She gives a rather pissed off one towards the climax when before she distracts, and later fights, her own mother, with some encouragement from Wu.
    Wu: Mei-Mei, keep her busy!
    Mei: Oh, I'll keep her busy!
  • Precocious Crush: She has a massive one on Devon, the seventeen-year-old store clerk, though originally, she thought he looked like a hobo and only gets interested after making animesque drawings of him. Her fantasies of him usually involve mermaids. In fact, he was the impetus for her premature red panda transformation, and she hilariously cannot control her supernatural spirit whenever he's in the vicinity.
  • Prone to Tears: She often breaks down into tears when under extreme stress during the films first act, usually in regards to her red panda form and her family not doing anything to help her.
  • Proud to Be a Geek: Mei is quite an outspoken nerd, and has a very self-confident, if a bit conceited, attitude where she "wears what she wants and says what she wants 24/7, 365". However, this is only how she acts when she's away from her mother and her stifling expectations.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When particularly angry, Mei's eyes turn red in her panda form. Needless to say, it's not a good idea to provoke a giant red panda, as Tyler learns the hard way when he pushes her too far and she attacks him.
  • Red Is Heroic: Mei primarily wears red clothes, has red hair in both her human and panda forms, and is the main protagonist of the movie.
  • Relative Button: Whatever you do, do not insult her family. Tyler learns this the hard way when she attacks him in panda form after he insults her mom and her shrine, although she regrets it right after.
  • Reveling in the New Form: A delayed example. She's at first horrified by her ability to turn into a giant red panda, as she has little to no control over when it happens and even calls herself a "gross red monster" soon after seeing what she looks like in the mirror. However, she begins to appreciate her red panda form as the movie goes on due to her peers finding her extremely cute in panda form, and Mei herself coming to agree with them; she even gradually figures out how to control her shapeshifting abilities. It gets to the point in which Mei has the option to seal her red panda spirit away permanently, preventing her from transforming ever again, but she chooses not to since she's found that she loves the ability.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Her vision isn't impaired in her red panda form, even if her glasses disappear.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Instead of being scared or repulsed by Mei's red panda form like she expected them to be, the kids at her school think that it's the cutest thing they've ever seen. Mei, Miriam, Priya, and Abby exploit this and decide to sell photos and merchandise of Mei's panda form in order to raise money to buy tickets to the 4*Town concert.
  • Running on All Fours: Mei's panda form is normally bipedal but if she needs to move more quickly, she'll run on all fours.
  • Scary Teeth: When enraged, her fangs become very sharp to match her red eyes.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: When Ming and Jin are testing Mei's ability to control her emotions, one of the things they show her is a photo of her pouting about getting second place in a spelling bee. It's clearly a very irritating memory for her — after the kitten box, it comes the closest to breaking her control.
  • Security Blanket: Wilfred the stuffed animal. She's had it for years, she sleeps with it, and she holds tight to it for comfort after her red panda form manifests. It's the one thing her parents let her keep when they empty her bedroom of all her other belongings, so that they won't be damaged by her repeated, uncontrolled transformations or attempts to hurt herself to try and get rid of it.
  • Self-Harm: There are multiple instances early on in the movie where Mei slaps herself to either stop herself from babbling or punish herself for disappointing Ming. It gets even worse when the transformations start, as she begins slamming her transformed parts into the floor and walls and tries to rip them off altogether. At one point, most of Mei's things are taken out of her room to prevent Mei from hurting herself any further.
  • Shaking the Rump: By Mei's admission, "she likes gyrating." She does it in the intro, and does it in her panda form at the 4*Town concert to get a rise out of her mother.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Both she and her mother have a shared tendency to do sassy hand gestures when being derisive.
  • Shipper on Deck: In her red panda form, Mei wiggles her eyebrows and brings a goth girl and her friend to dance with the others during the party using her tail, pushing the girl to Priya.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: In the first act, Mei dresses relatively plainly, with a red cardigan, pink shirt and dark blue skirt. Her only jewelry is a couple of plastic or fabric bracelets. After her friends find out about her red panda form and she starts embracing it, she takes off the cardigan, puts on star-shaped stick-on earrings, and starts wearing a black choker around her neck — except at home, where she removes the jewelry and reverts to being "perfect little Mei-Mei". In the epilogue, she's wearing the choker and the stick-on earrings at home, meaning she has gotten confident enough to wear them around her mother, strongly implying the change is permanent and her mother has grown to accept that look.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Downplayed. Mei is by no means a Narcissist or a Jerkass, but the opening to the film shows her to have quite a bit of inflated ego insisting she does what she wants when she wants at all times. She also thinks turning 13 makes her officially an adult just because the Toronto Transit Commission gives her an ID at that age. Finally, she furiously shouts at her mother (who herself has turned into an even bigger red panda) during the 4*Town concert that she's thirteen and her rebellion is a part of who she is now based on her age.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: She is a huge nerd, gets straight As, and is quite smart. She also wears glasses.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Acts this way towards boys she likes (especially 4*Town, Devon, and Carter Murphy Matthew). She even draws lewd pictures of her and Devon at one point.
  • Spare Body Parts: When partially transformed she keeps both her human ears alongside her panda ears.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She looks somewhat like her mother in terms of facial features, but takes after her father in terms of figure, being more stout compared to Ming or Wu. Discussed when her aunties briefly argue about whether or not she looks more like Ming or Jin.
  • Stumbling in the New Form: Mei's human form is under five feet tall and might weigh 80-90 pounds. So it's not surprising that when she first starts transforming into the red panda, she has a lot of trouble controlling its eight-foot-tall, very bulky body and long fluffy tail. The fact that she only transforms when she's excited or upset about something doesn't help. She wrecks her bathroom, she wrecks her bedroom, and she does a lot of accidental damage at school and in town. Eventually, however, she gets a handle on it and even finds herself enjoying it.
  • Super-Strength: Her red panda form is very strong:
    • After Tyler makes fun of Mei for her mother following her around, Mei hurls a dodgeball at him with her red panda arm while partially transformed, with enough power that it sparks and creates a sonic boom as he barely dodges it.
    • At Tyler's party, Panda-Mei can jump high in the air while carrying up to a dozen 13-year-old schoolkids.
  • Super-Toughness: Implied while in panda form. During the fight against the Kaiju-sized Panda-Ming, Mei gets knocked around quite a bit and even falls several stories but is no worse for wear afterwards. She also manages to headbutt her gigantic mother with enough force to knock her out but stays conscious herself.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mei starts the movie off subservient to Ming and is extremely clumsy upon gaining her red panda form, to the point of being unable to control her transformations. However, after fully embracing the red panda as part of herself, she gains full control over it and eventually manages to defeat Ming's own Kaiju red panda form in a fight. Afterwards, she becomes much more assertive and confident in herself.
  • Took a Level in Smartass: After she begins to embrace her wilder side, she gets distinctly snarkier. Eventually, she even starts snarking at her beloved mother.
  • Unstable Powered Child: Ultimately subverted. As thirteen-year-olds are naturally less able to control their emotions and impulses, this means that her emotion-released red panda spirit is constantly coming out without her wanting it to. However, she quickly learns to control her emotions, finding ways of coping even when expressing her emotions openly. She gets so good at it and is so accustomed to her red panda that she ends up choosing to keep it instead of banishing it through her family ritual.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Stopping the ritual and disobeying her mother to go to the concert, along with Wu and the aunties berating Ming over it, causes the latter's meltdown, unleashing her massive panda form.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • Downplayed since Mei has the normal voice of a pubescent girl (even if sounding a bit older than 13), though her happy appearance in promotional material and merchandising makes her appear more like a Genki Girl and/or Cheerful Child, so hearing her mature voice may be a bit unexpected. Justified since her VA was 16 during the dialog recordings for the movie.
    • Even when fully transformed, Mei sounds exactly the same as a panda as she does as a human. This leads to the bizarre image of a giant, hulking red panda who sounds like a 13-year-old girl. It stands out compared to Ming, whose voice becomes much deeper as a panda.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: But not at first — because she doesn't know how her magic works when she first gets it, Mei ends up with Involuntary Shapeshifting instead until it's explained to her. When Mei refuses to separate from her red panda spirit in the Astral Plane, embracing the supernatural red panda as a part of herself, she emerges able to choose where and when she wants to transform. Even when her mother later runs amok in her Mighty Glacier kaiju red panda form, she cannot catch Mei for long because Mei is now too quick and agile for Ming.
  • Weight Woe: One of the first things that repulses Mei about her red panda form is the enormous amount of weight it adds to her, at one point shaking her huge belly in despair.
  • Youthful Freckles: She has a few of them that are barely noticeable which indicate that she's not quite as adult as she thinks she is.

    Ming Lee
Click here to see Ming's red panda form
Click here to see Ming in the Astral Plane
Voiced by: Sandra Oh (English)
Mei's overbearing, overprotective, and strict mother. She loves Mei, but tends to put family and tradition before her daughter's happiness.
  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: She proudly shows off her double-jointed right arm to Mei.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Played for Drama. Her tendency to make a scene over everything is a great embarrassment to her daughter. When she sees her daughter drawing pictures of the clerk, she comes to the wrong conclusion, storms down to the mart, and very loudly accuses him while showing off her daughter's drawings to everyone in the store, including the school bully. When Mei forgets her pads in the car, she sneaks onto school grounds, gets into an altercation with a security officer, and then yells "You forgot your pads!" in front of Mei's entire math class. This causes Mei so much embarrassment that her emotions go haywire and she transforms right in the middle of the classroom.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Not only is she scared of losing her doting daughter's affection, but she fears Mei may lose control of her panda spirit. Ming goes absolutely ballistic when Mei openly defies her family's wishes in sealing the spirit away, believing her "perfect daughter" is throwing her life and future away.
  • Anti-Villain: Ming lacks key "villainous" traits — she's not really a bad person, and while she is in conflict with the protagonist of the story, it's in said protagonist's best interests. Even so, Ming is the central opposing force to Mei, because her attempts at working towards Mei's best interests are taken way too far. Ming attempts to stop Mei from going to the 4*Town concert and attempts to control every aspect of Mei's life, which still makes Ming the Big Bad of the movie.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Assuming her astral form is what she really looked like as a teenager, Ming fits this trope even better than her daughter does. The classic nerd stereotype is someone who is Book Smart with No Social Skills. Both Ming and her daughter are straight-A students, but Mei has friends and a social life, which proves she does have social skills even if she doesn't always use them. Ming has none that the audience ever sees, at least not in interpersonal relationships. As a teenager she even wore Nerd Glasses, again unlike Mei whose glasses are well-fitted to her face.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: As a result of decades' worth of pent-up emotions that she was never able to release, her red panda form is the size of a skyscraper. For comparison, Mei in her own 8-foot-tall panda form is barely the size of panda-Ming's eyeball.
  • Berserk Button: She really dislikes anything that's even remotely sexualised. Mei exploits this at the climax of the film by gyrating in front of her in order to keep her in the ritual circle.
  • Big Bad: Or at least she's the closest that you'll find in a movie like this. Ming is neither truly evil nor even a bad person. The problem is that Ming's overly controlling behavior often makes her an antagonistic obstacle in Mei's path in growing up and accepting her gifts. Everything she does is out of concern for Mei's well-being, but she just takes it too far, especially during the climax when she unwittingly unleashes her enormous red panda form and attacks her daughter in a blind rage.
  • Big Bad Slippage: Ming doesn't start as a villain, just an overbearing and paranoid mother. It's only later, when Mei defies her wishes that her years of insecurity and anger bubbles to the surface and she becomes a true threat as a giant Red Panda.
  • Big "WHAT?!": She lets out a shocked one at the climax of the film when Mei reveals that she's been lying to her, and calls Ming out on her overprotectiveness.
  • Blessed with Suck: She understands the gods gifting her ancestor Sun Yee with a giant red panda spirit was nothing short of a blessing... in China during wartime. In modern civilized times in another country, it's nothing short of "an inconvenience", as she puts it. This, combined with her deeply repressed emotions, makes her panda form Kaiju-sized and filled with uncontrollable rage, hence why she was all too willing to banish it. By comparison, everyone else has 20-to-30-foot panda forms they have full control over.
  • Break the Haughty: Ming is certain that she has her daughter, and her daughter's red panda, firmly under control, even bragging about it to her relatives. Then she finds that Mei has succumbed to the "evil" (in her mind) influence of her friends: sneaking out, exploiting the panda, transforming whenever she wants, and lying to Ming about all of it. Next, Mei chooses to keep the panda, meaning that Ming has failed in one of the most important duties she has as a parent — and her relatives were there to see every humiliating moment. (Note that after Mei runs off, Ming's not so much angry at what Mei did, as she is about how it reflects on her. note ) At the concert, Mei tells off her mother in no uncertain terms, proving that she's really broken free of Ming's control. And finally, when they meet on the astral plane, Mei does something for her mother that Ming couldn't do for Mei: readily offers kindness and compassion when it's most needed, without reservation or hesitation.
  • Broken Bird: She has been one for many years, starting way before her daughter was born. However, it's downplayed and largely focused on just two aspects of her life and personality: her relationship with her mother, Wu, and anything to do with the red panda. In her teenage years, Ming tried to be a good daughter to Wu, but realized that she would never live up to her mother's expectations. Eventually all of this pressure got to the point that she transformed out of sheer rage, attacking Wu and giving her her eyebrow scar in the first bout and destroying half of the temple during the second due to Wu disapproving of her relationship with Jin, the man who loved Ming for who she is. She's hated the panda ever since due to it causing more harm than good to her. She was determined to not make the same mistake with her daughter, only to do exactly that when Mei reached that first stage of self-discovery and independence. The fact that Mei's first act of open defiance also involves the panda is too much for Ming to handle.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Gender-Inverted Trope. Ming is very high strung and repressing decades of mommy issues. Jin is patient, sweet, and supportive.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': In the end, Ming has been fined CA$100,000,000 by the city for the damages she caused in her giant red panda form, an act that she actually feels extremely guilty for. Fortunately for Ming, her family was willing to open up a charity drive in order to raise money to pay for the damages. Panda-Mei is also proving to be insanely popular with tourists, the ending showing business at the temple has never been better.
  • Character Tics: Ming has the habit of biting her lower lip when she feels embarrassed, like when telling her daughter about the family's... "inconvenience", that is, the red panda transformations.
  • Control Freak: Everything about Ming betrays an obsessive need for self-control and self-restraint. She moves with precision, always dresses the same way, holds to an exact schedule, drives a small, plain car, and hovers incessantly over her daughter Mei. She also expects Mei to get perfect grades, requires that Mei spend all of her recreational time contributing to the family temple, and generally steamrolls over any individuality Mei might try to show her. This is less out of malice or selfishness and more out of concern for her daughter's well-being, and Mei's inability to be honest with her mother only enables her actions. This is shown to be a generational habit, as Ming's relationship with Mei mirrors her mother's relationship with her. It's also indicative of her own buried trauma, from when she was a teenager herself and her loss of self-control turned her red panda form into a rampaging monster. Ironically, her desire to restrain and control Mei, which is an extension of her need for self-control, is about the only thing that can make that self-control break.
  • Crazy-Prepared: She has a box full of supplies and every type of pad imaginable ready to go in the event of Mei's first period.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Or rather, Mommy. Her mother heavily disapproved of her marriage to Jin Lee, and on that day she snapped about it. Considering the fact that she previously injured her mother when in her teens leaving a scar on her mother's right eyebrow, which Ming still heavily regrets to this day, speaks volumes of how much she loved Jin.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While not as much as her daughter, she still has her moments of snarkiness. One standout example is after she tells Mei that she can't go to the concert:
    Who do they think they are, Celine Dion?
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Ming is a deconstruction of My Beloved Smother. Ming is a perfectionist, and expects Mei to be the person Ming wants her to be. And for a while, this works fine, because Mei likes having those responsibilities and consistently meets the high expectations placed on her. But while Ming has good intentions, being a helicopter parent causes Ming to be a paranoid Control Freak who over-reacts to the smallest of things, and thinks that everything is out to get Mei. For example, Devon at the corner store is accused by Ming of corrupting Mei's mind with untoward thoughts when Ming finds sexy drawings of Devon in Mei's notebook, despite the fact that Mei was just another customer to Devon and he barely knew her from a hole in the ground. But the straw that breaks the camel's back is Ming refusing to let Mei go to the 4*Town concert in spite of how good she does. This causes Mei to decide that if her loyalty and perfection isn't going to be rewarded, then there's no point in trying to be perfect anymore. As a result, Mei starts lying to her mother and hiding her personal interests because Ming won't just let Mei become her own person. Also, Mei eventually finds out that Ming's own mother was just as bad with Ming, and lashing out caused Ming to permanently scar her mother with her own red panda form, giving Ming a Freudian Excuse as to why she's so strict, albeit with the narrative painting this as an explanation but not an excuse.
  • Deuteragonist: In the end, the movie is almost as much about Ming coming to terms with the traumas and emotional hang-ups caused by her own overbearing mother as it is about Mei's journey.
  • Doting Parent: Ming adores Mei despite her overprotectiveness and tries to foster a close relationship between them. It winds up being deconstructed, as this affection contrasted against her high expectations is why Mei has so many difficulties confiding anything in her or putting her foot down whenever she needs to.
  • Dramatic Irony: Her own mother causes grief to her just as how Meilin feels the same way to Ming. In Ming's case, it's far more dramatic, however.
  • Drama Queen: Part of the reason she gets away with a lot of her antics is that she always responds disproportionately, and no one wants to deal with her. She has a reputation for dramatics, as seen with Devon in the Daisy Mart, so most of the locals put up with it rather than point out she's making herself look ridiculous or responding to her statements. When she does cause property damage, however, she has to raise CA$100 million to pay for the damages and avoid a prison sentence.
  • The Dreaded: Her family is terrified of her red panda spirit, and for a very good reason, hoping that Mei's panda doesn't turn out to be anything like it.
  • Education Mama: She forces Mei to get perfect grades and excel at everything. This sets up the plot on how Mei feels pressure and stress from having to be perfect all the time.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Ming first appears in the movie, she rushes over to Mei, acting as if Mei has been missing for hours when in fact Mei is only ten minutes late getting home. She then feeds Mei a dumpling, asks her how her day went, and praises her for her good test grades. This establishes Ming as a controlling but well-meaning and definitely loving mother.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Mother: Ming doesn’t seem to like the fact that Mei enjoys other hobbies and wants to have a life outside of her, freaking out when Mei is 10 minutes late coming home and looking very hurt when Mei outright says she doesn't want her joining her to study with her friends.
  • Freudian Excuse: Mei finds out that the reason that her mother is hard on her is that during one of her transformations as a kid, she injured her mother, Wu, and became scared of her powers. Ming outright admits that she watched her daughter so closely in the hopes of being able to see the signs of her red panda transformation and properly prepare for it.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: During the climactic fight, Mei calls out her mother, saying that just because she had to be the perfect daughter herself doesn't mean that it was right for her to treat Mei like an ideal, not as a person.
    Ming: I never went to concerts! I put my family first! I tried to be a good daughter!
    Mei: Well, sorry I'm not perfect! Sorry I'm not good enough! And sorry... I'll never be... LIKE YOU!
  • Friendless Background: Lampshaded during her confrontation with her daughter at the SkyDome. She had no one. She never went to concerts, or did anything fun with peers her own age, always staying near her family to meet her no-nonsense mother's approval. Little wonder why she turned into her kaiju-form when her mother used a Parental Marriage Veto against Jin, the only man who loved her as a person.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Downplayed. Her given name is Ming, and while the name itself is unisex from having a multitude of readings (read: distinct Chinese characters pronounced the same way), the name typically has more masculine associations among many Chinese-speaking people.
  • Generation Xerox: Just as her strict, unpleasable mother made her feel terrible for never being a "perfect" enough daughter, she in turn did so to her beloved Mei-Mei. Both times both parents only did what they thought was right. The irony is not wasted on her in the astral plane.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Though not outright stated in the movie itself, the pre-release summary confirms that Ming dislikes Miriam because she sees the latter as a threat to her relationship with Mei.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ming is clearly stunned and humbled by the fact that both her daughter and her mother are willing to forgive her for her attacks on them while in her red-panda form. Their love and support help her break away from the control-freak attitude that caused so much trouble between her and Mei and become a better person and a better mother in the ending.
  • Heel Realization: Ming is not an evil person. She never wanted to be a villain, and certainly never saw herself as a villain. But somewhere between getting One-Hit KO'ed by Mei and meeting up with the aunties and Grandma on the astral plane, she realizes that she is, in fact, the villain of the piece. That realization, plus the compassion and forgiveness shown to her by both her daughter and her mother, are enough to bring about a drastic change in her attitude.
  • Helicopter Parents: There's never any doubt that Ming loves her daughter Mei dearly, but she picks some very bad ways to show it. She's extremely overprotective, getting worried if Mei is so much as ten minutes late getting home from school. She pressures Mei to be a perfect straight-A student. She's openly concerned that Mei's chosen friends are "odd", and subtly nudges Mei away from them. After Mei's red panda transformation manifests, Ming starts spying on her daughter at school as well. All of this is out of genuine concern for Mei's well-being, but one way or another, Ming is responsible for most of the problems Mei faces during the film.
  • Hidden Depths: Through most of the movie, Ming is presented as simply a somewhat extreme example of an Education Mama and helicopter parent. There are a couple of hints about some terrible event in her past, something to do with her panda, but they're vague and easy to miss. Not until Mei meets her mother on the astral plane and hears Ming's anguished confession is there even a hint that Ming's attitude has a real, solid, believable explanation beyond "that's just the way she is".
  • Hypocrite: Played for laughs. Ming acts with control and discipline over Mei, saying that her daughter should respect her. But when Ming's mother calls, Ming is instantly terrified of the same discipline from her own mother. This stops being played for laughs when Mei sees that Ming is just as much of a "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl as she was, and handled it far worse than she did.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Ming finishes her argument with Mei over seeing the 4*Town concert:
    Ming: (annoyed) Where do she get that from, treating her mother like that.
    Jin: (offers the phone to Ming) Ming, it's your mother.
    Ming: (panicked) I'm not here! (immediately drops to the couch and hides)
  • I Am a Monster: She thinks that way about herself even more so than Mei, and not without reason. The first time she turned into an out-of-control Kaiju-sized red panda, when she felt she would never be good enough for her overly strict mother, Ming scarred her mother's face in a rage, something that she never forgave herself for.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Even more so with Mei, she's basically a dead-on animated version of Sandra Oh.
  • Irrational Hatred: She dislikes Miriam and considers her a bad influence on Mei, more than any of her other friends, for no obvious reason. The ending shows her making an effort to get over it, having realized her attitude towards Miriam—and, to a lesser extent, Priya and Abby—was unfair.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ming is very bossy, overbearing, and can be difficult to reason with due to her anxiety and perfectionist ways. However, she's still a loving mother and a wife and most of her concerns is due to her wanting Mei to be safe.
  • Kaiju: Her red panda form is gigantic, being big enough to tower over Toronto's SkyDome and strong enough to nearly destroy it in her uncontrollable rage over Mei disobeying her. According to the crew, her panda form's sheer size is a combination of both her red panda form just being naturally bigger even when she was a teen, and her repressed emotions feeding into it.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Played for Drama. Ming commits a lot of antics that in real life would have probably gotten her arrested and served with a dozen restraining orders. Ming hasn't gotten in trouble for her actions only because her neighbors find her more ridiculous than threatening. She doesn't get in trouble for falsely accusing a convenience store clerk of sexually grooming a minor, let alone assaulting and battering (she did kick him) the security guard at the school, when most schools would have banned her. In fact, he allows her to drop off dumplings for Mei while reminding her she can't hide behind trees. Then she unleashes her kaiju form at the concert, literally bringing the facilities down on innocent children, and assaults Mei by grabbing her in a painful hold to berate her. Mei is forced to knock out Ming when the latter won't see reason and make her redo the red moon ritual. Afterward, Ming is apologetic about the whole fiasco, and the family's been ordered to pay CA$100 million for the damage she caused. Also, she has to constantly feed her new red panda Tamagotchi because it contains her primal panda form.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • It was pretty brutal of her to blame Mei's friends for her sneaking out to a party and not even give them a chance to explain. Mei is noticeably distraught by this.
    • During the climax of the movie, in a fit of rage, Ming rants to Mei about how she always put her family first when she was a teenager, and how she "tried to be a good daughter". If anything, she is basically saying that Mei is a bad daughter just for not putting her family before her "odd" friends, and that every self-sacrificing thing Mei's ever done for Ming was All for Nothing. This pushes Mei to her own Rage Breaking Point, and provokes her to knock some sense into her raging mother.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Most especially in the film's climax, where she becomes so overwhelmingly angry over Mei disobeying her that she crashes the 4*Town concert and causes a lot of property damage.
  • Mama Bear: Deconstructed. Ming's attitude and actions clearly show what can happen when this trope goes wrong. Repeatedly throughout the movie, she aggressively acts to protect or defend her beloved Mei-Mei, but in every case, Mei was never actually in danger, and Ming's actions make things worse for her daughter instead of better.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: She's the short-tempered, more aggressive Masculine Girl to her husband's more gentle Feminine Boy.
  • Meaningful Name: If we're going by the Chinese dub transcriptions of her given name.
    • In the Mandarin dubs, her given name is translated as 明 (Míng), a masculine-leaning unisex name which means "bright" or "clear". In this case, she would also share a name with a historical Chinese dynasty.note 
    • In the Cantonese dub, her given name is translated as 鳴 (Mìhng), which means "to cry" or "to make a sound", or more poetically, "to express" or "to voice", which can hint towards her Obnoxious Entitled Housewife tendencies.
  • Mighty Glacier: Ming's gigantic red panda form is strong enough to tear apart the SkyDome roof with her bare paws. However, she moves in a very slow and lumbering fashion. This puts her at a disadvantage in her fight against Mei, as her daughter's smaller and more agile panda form is able to easily run rings around her despite her much greater strength, especially since Mei can just use the transformational bursts to shift her momentum at will.
  • Misplaced Retribution: After catching Mei at a party, she wrongfully blames Mei's friends for encouraging her to hustle the panda. Mei herself is hurt by her mother pinning her actions on her friends, and this is what helps Mei realize that it's actually Ming who needs more help.
  • Morphic Resonance: She keeps her hairstyle and mole while in red panda form.
  • My Beloved Smother: An interesting example, in that whilst she's strict and overprotective, which is the main driver for the plot, she isn't a horrible person. Not only are her reasons for being overprotective born from genuine concern for Mei's welfare, she also does have a sense of fun, in that she and Mei do both enjoy taking care of the temple together and work to make the cleaning of it a bit of a game. Her anxieties just massively get the better of her.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • She is visibly shocked when she sees Mei transform into a giant red panda in the middle of a maths class, realising that she unwittingly set her off.
    • As her daughter discovers late in the movie, Ming in her late-teens never forgave herself for attacking and scarring her mother's face, even though Wu already did. It stunts her development and relationships with others, making Ming appear cold and distant for the majority of the film. Heartwarmingly, Mei comforts and leads her mother through the spiritual world back to the physical plane and adulthood.
    • During the movie's emotional climax, just before she leaves the astral plane, she realises that her own actions were what caused Mei to become such a rebellious teenager by being so controlling and overprotective towards her. She's able to make a start at fixing this before going back to the normal world.
  • My Greatest Failure: In her late-teens, Ming transformed into her red panda form and attacked her mother Wu, resulting in a scar over Wu's right eye. Ming never forgave herself for attacking and scarring her mother's face as a result. Part of Ming's My Beloved Smother tendencies are due to Ming not wanting Mei to repeat her mistake.
  • Nerd Glasses: In the astral plane her teenage self is shown to have worn thick glasses, and she had similar academic pressures to Mei.
  • Nervous Wreck: Not as immediately apparent due to her not acting the stereotypical part, but a lot of her controlling and coddling behavior is a result of her struggling to deal with her massive anxiety issues.
  • No Social Skills: Ming is clearly a successful businesswoman and is quite at ease dealing with the temple visitors, but when it comes to personal relationships, she seems completely at a loss. She swings back and forth between "overbearing helicopter parent" and "helpless bystander" with nothing in-between. The most glaring example of this is when she tells Mei that "we'll face this (meaning Mei's panda problem) together", but never offers any support or advice on how to control the panda transformations—not even when poor Mei is slamming herself against the walls of her bedroom hard enough to make the whole house shake in her desperate attempts to make the panda go away.
  • Not So Above It All: In the ending, it's shown that her red panda spirit has been sealed inside Mei's Tamagotchi, which she coos over and speaks to in baby talk while she feeds.
  • Obliviously Evil: She doesn't understand just how damaging her helicopter-parenting could be to her daughter's psyche, even as she's hugely embarrassing Mei in public. She ends up causing, directly or indirectly, most of the stresses Mei faces in the movie.
  • Obnoxious Entitled Housewife: While she's technically not a housewife, Ming falls into a lot of the tropes for the stereotypical "helicopter parent", doing things ranging from spying on Mei at school to causing a scene at Daisy Mart when she mistakes Mei's drawings of Devon, the clerk, for a sign that he's a groomer. Needless to say, her overly demanding and coddling behaviour proves to be a constant source of embarrassment for Mei, which winds up inadvertently fuelling her transformations.
  • One-Winged Angel: When her red panda spirit is released, she goes completely berserk, becoming a kaiju-sized monster.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Ming is normally pretty confident and no-nonsense, but when Jin picks up the phone and it's her mother on the other line, Ming freaks out and initially tries to hide.
  • Parents as People: Ming's 'helicopter-parenting' causes her daughter no end of stress and embarrassment. Ming even lashes out at strangers when looking out for her daughter's best interests. Deep down, she's just a worried parent who fears that Mei's transformations might cause her, or someone else, to get hurt. She nonetheless loves Mei-Mei very much. Ironically, it's what leads her to release her panda spirit and go on a blind rampage. Mei has to literally knock sense into her to help her see her flaws.
  • Personal Horror: She fears two things above all others: losing control, and losing her daughter's love. Unfortunately, like many people, she equates "love" with "obedience", so when Mei starts disobeying her, she thinks that the thing she's long dreaded is finally happening. When Mei openly defies her during the red moon ritual and chooses to keep the panda, Ming's fear turns to Unstoppable Rage, driving her to lose control, unwittingly set her own panda free, and go on a destructive rampage at the concert.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • She winds up fulfilling a lot of her worries about her daughter by her inability to just tell Mei about the dangers of her constant transformations.
    • Ming's forbidding nature also means Mei is reluctant to discuss her changing views, and it's not until the fight at the end that the two really talk.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Her voice noticeably drops several octaves when in her kaiju-sized panda form.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: She wears her hair in a low bun, which is fitting with her strict, tight-laced attitude towards parenting her daughter.
  • Proper Lady: Ming carries herself in a traditional, sophisticated, and orderly fashion. She does the same in all areas of her life, including maintaining the temple and raising her child.
  • Rage Breaking Point: When Mei decides to keep her panda form, Ming tries to convince her otherwise, only for an incensed Mei to openly defy her before leaving for the concert to reconcile with her friends. This open act of defiance, combined with her mother and the aunties pushing her too far by berating her for allowing this to happen, finally drives an outraged Ming to unwittingly unleash her panda form and go on a rampage before reaching the stadium, where she angrily berates Mei for 'disappointing' her while scaring the other attendees away. Even when Mei finally stands up to her mother by admitting that it was her idea, not her friends', to use her panda form to buy the concert tickets and show up at Tyler's party, it only fuels Ming's anger even more.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her panda form has red eyes as she's attacking Mei in a blind rage.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Jin's blue. She has a firm grip on Ming inside her home and out, in contrast to Jin. Doubles as a literal example when she becomes vicious in her panda form.
  • Resized Vocals: When Ming turns into a red panda, she becomes even taller than Toronto's SkyDome, resulting in her voice becoming noticeably deeper as well.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: More than anything, she fears losing her daughter's love and respect as Mei grows older. It nearly occurs when her anxieties get the best of her, making her become increasingly overbearing, culminating in her losing control over her red panda spirit.
  • Shadow Archetype: She represents what Mei could have become if she continued to repress her panda. While Mei has friends who love and support her, allowing her to eventually embrace the panda as a part of herself, Ming had a Friendless Background and continued to fear the panda, repressing it until it comes out as a destructive Kaiju. Mei grows to become a stronger, more independent person who fully embraces her quirks, while Ming became an obsessive, overbearing Control Freak.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Implied. Jin was the man for whom Ming first openly defied her mother, but instead of being some objectionable bad boy, he is a sweet, patient, and demure man, who supports his wife and still defers to his mother-in-law's authority.
  • Sick and Wrong: She hates gyrating, twerking, or anything that is done in a sexually provocative manner. Hilariously, her defiant daughter loves it and uses this against her to get a rise out of her during their confrontation at the SkyDome.
  • Skewed Priorities: When Mei is utilizing Self-Harm in an attempt to remove her red panda parts, Ming is more concerned about saving a picture of a younger Mei than she is going to check on her and see if she's alright.
  • So Proud of You: Two different examples, at the beginning and climax of the story, show Ming's Character Development:
    • Early in the movie, she enthusiastically approves of Mei's perfect scores on three tests.
    • After her Heel Realization, she tells her daughter, who is starting to discover herself and the red panda spirit she chooses to remain united to, that the further Mei goes in her new changing life, the prouder Ming will be.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She looks just like a younger version of her mother, and wears a similar hairstyle, save for the fact that since she has longer hair, she wears it in a bun.
  • Supernatural Sealing: Like every woman in her family, her enormous red panda spirit is sealed inside a talisman. Ming refuses to accept that it's a part of her, referring to it as a Sealed Evil in a Can. When she makes her peace with Mei and herself, it's re-sealed into a Tamagotchi, of all things. Amusingly, Ming treats it as a 'pet monster' that needs constant love and attention, as it's always hungry.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Ming is a good if flawed person, but her Red Panda form is all her darkest qualities manifest, a ferocious, irrationally angry beast who will attack anything in her path physically and verbally.
  • Supreme Chef: She's a very good cook, with one scene having her make all of Mei's favorite foods, to her delight.
  • Terms of Endangerment: She still calls her daughter "Mei-Mei" even while trying to smash her while in giant red panda form.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After Mei helps Ming come to terms with accidentally scarring Wu's face, Ming becomes less overbearing and more willing to let Mei be her own person.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Downplayed. Ming is a striking-looking woman, with fine features and a refined appearance, while her husband, Jin, is more plain-looking in comparison.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The main reason why Mei's family wants her to seal her red panda form is because her mother went on violent rampages when angered. Ming attacked her mother as a teenager and destroyed half the temple when her mother initially refused to bless her relationship with Jin. When her red panda form is unleashed in the climax, she does massive damage to the SkyDome, and gets angrier when Mei finally stands up to her.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Deconstructed. We get to see a young Ming cry about how she doesn't believe that she will ever be good enough for Wu's approval.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Ming's kaiju-sized red panda spirit is quite feral and uncontrollable when angered, blindly destroying a concert with no concern for collateral damage. In fact, one of the main reasons why the other relatives urge caution to Mei about bonding with her red panda spirit (if it's manageable enough) because some red panda spirits like Ming's are too destructive and have to be sealed away. It's a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy due to generational habits, because in peacetime the descendants of Sun Yee regard the Blessing of the Gods as a burden, instead of the divine intervention it was always meant to be. Consequently, by rejecting the red panda, they and Ming are denying a fundamental part of themselves. By suppressing it, the spirit can only come out explosively when it inevitably resurfaces. Happily, Ming gets better by the ending, treating her red panda as a family pet instead of a demonic entity.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: If you think she's an overbearing mom and authoritarian, you've seen nothing until her massive kaiju red panda comes out to play. As the film implies, she's lost control through hitting her Rage Breaking Point three times. The first time happened in her late teens when she felt she could never be perfect enough for her strict mother, only relenting when she scarred her mom's face. The second time, when her mom pulled a Parental Marriage Veto against Jin, the man she wanted to marry, it had Ming destroy half the temple. The beast was only subdued when Wu begrudgingly consented to the wedding. And of course, the third time happens when Mei openly defies her to go see 4*Town, resulting in an angry Ming tracking Mei down and trashing the stadium where the concert is being held. Eventually, Mei is able to knock her out cold, but it takes all the red pandas present to reseal the raging spirit.

    Jin Lee
Voiced by: Orion Lee (English)
Mei's father, who is much less uptight than his wife, Ming. While he is not nearly as actively involved in Mei's life as Ming is, he loves his daughter and just wants her to be happy.
  • Badass Normal: The only one in Mei's immediate family who has no supernatural or mystical powers or talents, and yet, he quickly springs into action and hustles to draw an enormous perfect circle with a line marker around a rampaging kaiju who could have very well stomped him into paste.
  • Be Yourself: A true Family Man who loves his family for who they are, red panda spirits and all. Jin isn't frightened by Ming's gigantic raging kaiju form, describing her as "incredible" when standing up to her mother when she disapproved of their relationship. Neither is he ashamed of Mei's transforming antics with her friends, as his daughter's videos made him laugh. He encourages Mei to accept what Ming rejected, as a part of her.
    Jin: People have all kinds of sides to them, Mei, and some sides are messy. The point isn't to push the bad stuff away, it's to make room for it, live with it.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Gender-Inverted Trope. Ming is very high strung and repressing decades of mommy issues. Jin is patient, sweet, and supportive.
  • Closet Geek: In the end-credits scene, we see him jamming to a 4*Town song with Mei's merch. He does this in the basement, no doubt because of his wife's disapproval of 4*Town and for the sake of his daughter's dignity.
  • Good Parents: He shown to be a kind, loving father to Mei, and encourages her to keep her panda form because it made her happy.
  • Henpecked Husband: He's quieter and more reserved than his wife Ming, who's clearly the one who calls the shots in their household and frequently overrules him whenever he tries to speak up against her.
  • Hidden Depths: Secretly loves 4*Town as shown by the film's post-credits scene.
  • Let Her Grow Up, Dear: Gender-Inverted Trope. Jin does try; he personally sees no harm in letting Mei go to the concert, but unfortunately his wife is having none of it and he struggles to make himself heard.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: He's the more gentle and soft Feminine Boy to his wife's aggressive Masculine Girl.
  • Meaningful Name: If we're going by the Chinese dub transcriptions of his given name.
    • The Mandarin dubs transcribe his name as 錦/锦 (Jǐn), referring to a brocade or a tapestry, or when used as an adjective, "bright and beautiful". The latter etymology goes with Couple Theme Naming, as Ming's name is transcribed as 明 ("bright" or "clear") in the same dubs.
    • The Cantonese dub transcribes his name as 阿進 (Ah Chun, Ājìn in Mandarin). While a diminutive prefix is added to the name, the Chinese character 進 means "to advance", "to enter", or "to improve".
  • Mellow Fellow: Contrasting Ming's Drama Queen tendencies, Jin is a lot more patient, calm, reserved, and supportive of his daughter learning to be her own person.
  • Nice Guy: He sincerely loves his family regardless of their quirks, and is the only family member who encourages Mei to keep the red panda because it makes her happy instead of trying to force her to remove it.
  • Only Sane Man: He's the only one who tries to approach Mei on her own terms. When Jin sees the video Mei made with her friends, he tells her not to delete it.
  • Open-Minded Parent: For what it's worth, he is much more sensible than his wife when it comes to Mei's growing up. He encourages Mei to do her own stuff and accepts her choices, especially whether she wants to go through the red panda spirit ritual or not.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: When he and Ming find out about Mei's first red panda transformation, his reaction isn't the most tactful.
    "It's happened already?"
  • Parents as People: While Jin is no doubt better than his wife when it comes to being a parent towards Mei, he still had his issues. While Jin was supportive of Mei being her own person, he still was sort of an enabler who had issues standing up to his wife regarding her helicopter parenting towards Mei.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: He tells Mei that her grandmother actually didn't approve of their relationship. In response, Ming — the only time he saw her transformed — took out half the temple in sheer rage.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Ming's red. He encourages Mei to be herself and has a more hands-off parenting technique than Ming.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Subverted/Parodied. He seems to have these during his Mundane Made Awesome cooking scene when his glasses go opaque, but it turns out to be steam fogging up the lenses.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Jin is shown to be nothing more than patient and supportive of his wife and daughter, and he is implied to had been Ming's Only Friend and accepted her unconditionally, even after her mother didn't approve of him and the family he married into is quite complicated. He even still wanted to marry her after witnessing her rampage almost destroy the temple; no wonder Ming was willing to panda at her mother over him.
  • Supreme Chef: He is introduced cooking something that looks delicious for dinnernote , and at the end of the film, Mei's friends are thrilled at the chance to eat his food.
  • Sweet Tooth: Can't resist helping himself to a donut hole, despite his wife telling him not to just a moment ago.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Downplayed. Jin, while not ugly, is much more plain-looking than his wife, Ming. This is acknowledged when Mei's aunties negatively compare her appearance to Jin's.
  • Understanding Boyfriend: It's implied that he was one and continues to be now that he's a husband. The biggest example is after Mei decides to keep her panda and runs away to the concert; while Ming's relatives berate her over it, Jin tries to comfort her and tell her that it's okay.
  • Understatement: Jin tells Mei that Ming becomes really big when she transforms. What he actually meant is that Ming turns into a fluffy kaiju as tall as some high-rise buildings.

    Grandma Wu
Click here to see her red panda form
Voiced by: Wai Ching Ho (English)

Chen and Ping's sister, Ming Lee's mother, Helen and Lily's aunt, Jin's mother-in-law, Mei Lee's grandmother, and Vivian's great-aunt.

  • Character Catchphrase:
    • She often says, "Quiet, Lily," whenever Lily is complaining or saying something that is irrelevant to the task or conversation.
    • Another one for her is "Ladies", which she says when she needs the aunties to stop talking.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She does have a few moments which show her dry wit. It clearly runs in the family.
    Ming: I'm gonna handle the ritual on my own.
    Wu: The way you "handled" Mei-Mei being on the news?
  • The Dreaded: Ming, herself a very imposing woman, is terrified of incurring her mother's displeasure. Mei's aunties and father immediately shut up at Wu's command.
  • Everyone Has Standards: As much as Wu hates 4*Town due to their reference with the number 4, she is horrified to see her daughter Ming (in her giant red panda form) thrashing the 4*Town concert out of rage against Mei for defying her, and also shows visible concern for Mei when Ming throws her onto the ground.
  • Four Is Death: Wu hates 4*Town as much as her daughter Ming does, despite not listening to any of their music, because of their Chinese association with the number 4, which references death. Ironically, her red panda spirit is re-sealed into a 4*Town necklace, which she accepts, but is not pleased about.
  • Grandparent Favoritism: Wu is tough on her daughter and sisters (to the point that Ming feared her). With Mei, however, she's stern, but not too intimidating. She's quite doting towards her as well but is harsh on Lily, telling her to be quiet nearly everytime the latter opens her mouth.
  • Grande Dame: Pinning down Wu's character is difficult, but on the whole she seems closest to this, with elements of Proper Lady and Iron Lady mixed in. She's old, very dignified, controls the whole family with an iron grip, and insists absolutely that things be done according to custom. But she isn't evil any more than Ming is, just rigid and old-fashioned in her view of life. In the end, she even proves to be surprisingly open-minded: when Mei and all her female relatives gather on the astral plane, Wu is the first to acknowledge that Mei has a right to make her own choice about her panda spirit.
  • Hidden Depths: Wu is established as the family matriarch, a hard, stern woman who adheres rigidly to custom and tolerates no dissension. Furthermore, she comes from a culture that was strongly bound by tradition. Such personalities are rarely open to the possibility of change of any kind. This makes it all the more surprising when as Mei and all her female relatives are gathered on the astral plane, Wu is the first to accept Mei's decision about keeping her red panda spirit.
  • Mama Bear: When Mei isn't strong enough to pull Ming into the sealing circle, Wu doesn't hesitate to destroy her own talisman and reclaim her ability in an effort to help her daughter.
  • Morphic Resonance: Her panda form keeps her hairstyle and scar.
  • My Beloved Smother: She was overbearing towards Ming in a way not too dissimilar to how Ming is to Mei. Ming ended up snapping in a much more violent way after Wu's perfectionism finally got to her, and again when she later disapproved of her marrying Jin.
  • Never Mess with Granny: She may have been a poor parent to Ming, but Wu genuinely loves her daughter, sisters (and nieces and granddaughters) and will go to any lengths to protect them. She even smashes her own talisman and releases her own panda spirit in order to try and save Ming, even knowing that doing so may be irreversible.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Her entire reason for attending the Red Moon ritual was to prevent any chaos from an emerging out-of-control panda spirit, not inadvertently enable it. Her sisters, nieces, granddaughter, and she furiously berate Ming for her inability to control Mei, who has abandoned her only opportunity of sealing away her panda spirit into a talisman. However, they are unaware that Ming's own talisman is cracking under the stress and inner-turmoil of being "betrayed" by her own daughter. Upon witnessing Ming's red panda form being unleashed, Wu becomes extremely terrified that she has just repeated history by angering Ming again.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite her generally serious demeanor, the epilogue shows that even she joined in the group selfie with the rest of her family (including Mei in red panda form), Mei's friends, a 4*Town, showing that even she has a somewhat fun loving side.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Wu doesn't think highly of Jin. Jin reveals that Ming got into a fight with her because of her disapproval when they were dating, which led to Ming panda-ing out, forcing a terrified Wu to back down in order to pacify Ming's rage. While she still doesn't seem to like Jin, she's at least civil towards him.
  • Oh, Crap!: She quietly utters the Cantonese equivalent when Ming transforms into her red panda form after pushing her too far by berating her for Mei Mei's decision in keeping the panda.
    Wu: Séi la… (死啦……)Translation
  • Pet the Dog: In the astral plane, she hugs her daughter Ming, who apologizes to her, and Wu assures her she doesn't need to. It's implied Wu realized the way she treated her daughter nearly destroyed her and her family, and so has come to terms with Ming's feelings.
  • The Power of Family: She smashes up the very expensive jade bracelet housing her red panda spirit to pull the unconscious Ming into the resealing ritual circle, as she refuses to let her daughter be consumed by the uncontrollable wrath of her kaiju form.
  • Scars Are Forever: Wu has a visible scar on her right eyebrow. It's later revealed that her daughter Ming was the cause of it after losing control of her panda form and attacking her. However, knowing that Ming was unable to control her transformations at that time, Wu was willing to forgive her, though Ming herself couldn't bear to forgive herself for the incident. Given how massive Ming's red panda form is, it's implied to have been caused as collateral damage from her rampages rather than something Ming did directly, otherwise the scar wouldn't be quite as small.
  • Transformation Trinket: Her panda spirit is contained in a jade bracelet, which she smashes in the climax in order to be able to transform and move Ming's unconscious form into the ritual circle. She later gets a new one in the form of a 4*Town necklace.
  • Unreliable Expositor: It might be intentional, or it might be that Wu is misinformed, but either way, what she tells Mei about the red panda turns out to be incorrect. It's clear that she believes "seal it away" and "repress it forever" are the only options where the red panda is concerned; she has no idea that it's possible to embrace the panda and thereby gain complete control over it, as Mei eventually does.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Her strict upbringing of Ming turned her into a strict parent of her own, not to mention gave her so much in the way of repressed emotions that when Ming's red panda form is unleashed, she becomes Kaiju-sized and blinded by rage.
  • Villain of Another Story: We can conclude Wu was this to Ming when she was younger and served as antagonist when she was a child.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: In her old age, her cheekbones have become particularly prominent. It's downplayed in that she's really just strict and intimidating rather than malicious.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: While Wu was the one that turned Ming into an Obnoxious Entitled Housewife with her strict upbringing, her intentions are sincere. She actually provides important information to Mei when she says that transforming too often could make the red moon ritual fail. Justified since her daughter's red panda spirit is too large and life-threatening to deal with and had to be sealed away, lest Ming level an entire city if she ever permanently bonded with it.

    Mei's Aunties
Left to right: Chen, Helen, Ping, and Lily.
Click here to see their red panda form
Voiced by: Lillian Lim [Chen], Lori Tan Chinn [Ping], Sherry Cola [Helen], Mia Tagano [Lily] (English)

Four of Mei's female relatives (Chen, Helen, Ping, and Lily) who greatly dote on her. They come to town with Grandmother Wu to help with the red moon ritual.

  • All There in the Manual:
    • The book Turning Red: The Graphic Novel reveals that Ping and Chen are Ming's aunts, thus making them Mei's grandaunts, while Helen is a first cousin to Ming, the daughter of Chen (and Mei's first-cousin-once-removed), and Lily is Ping's daughter and therefore also Mei's first-cousin-once-removed.
    • In the book The Real R.P.G.: The Story of the Red Panda Girl Lily also mentions that she has a daughter, Vivian, who is Ping's granddaughter, Wu and Chen's grandniece, Ming's first-cousin-once-removed, and Mei's second cousin.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Ping and Lily are heavy-built women but are still capable of looking amazing and fashionable.
  • Big Damn Heroes: All four of them unleash their red panda forms to help Mei drag an unconcious Ming back into the circle.
  • Deadpan Snarker: All four of them have their moments of making sarcastic remarks. Chen is the biggest offender, however. It clearly runs in the family.
    Chen: She looks like her father.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Their very first scene is of them busting open the double doors to the temple while shrouded in a flash of light, then sashaying their way in and striking a group pose worthy of the Kardashians. Only to then start cooing all over Mei while making comments about her appearance.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • All four of them (including Chen) are all visibly scared when Ming throws Mei onto the ground in her red panda form, showing that they don't want to see anyone being hurt.
    • They also show concern for Mei when they see her trying to drag Ming back into the circle for the ritual.
  • Four Is Death: Lily evidently believes so, since she claims to have held her daughter in for a whole day just so she wouldn't be born on the 4th.
  • Jerkass: While all four of the aunties are obnoxious in that way that only relatives can be, Chen is the only one who seems to put any real malice behind it. Her comments about Ming and Mei are the most barbed, and when they're all about to leave the astral plane, only Chen is still upset that Mei is going to keep her panda spirit. Despite this, she readily joins in helping Mei and Wu drag the unconscious Ming back into the circle, showing she still genuinely cares about them.
  • Morphic Resonance: Their panda forms keep their individual hairstyles.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Ping bears a strong resemblance to the late comedian Lydia Shum Din-Ha.
  • Not So Above It All: in “The Real R.P.G: the Story of the Red Panda Girl,” Ping mentions that she misses her red panda, suggesting she has a fun-loving side to her. Naturally, Wu scolds her for it, prompting her to double back and claim she’s happy to be rid of it.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Not to the same extent as Wu, but Chen distastefully notes Mei's resemblance to Jin.
  • Odd Name Out: Chen's name does not end with '-ing', unlike her niece Ming and sister Ping.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat: They trade snide and competitive quips with each other and Ming.
  • Pet the Dog: They all share a scared and sorrowful look towards Mei when they see her trying to pull an unconscious Ming back to the circle, and (with some prompting from Wu) decide to help her in doing so.
  • The Power of Family: Despite the fact that they constantly competitively gossip and bicker about each other, they pull through together in a crisis, knowing no good can come from a raging red panda spirit, especially if said spirit is a kaiju-level threat.
  • Satellite Family Member: Their main importance to the plot is that like Mei and Ming, they are female descendants of Sun Yee. As such, they have red panda spirits sealed inside talismans, which they can (and do) set free in the climax to help save Ming.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Downplayed, but Lily boasts often about her daughter Vivian (Mei's unseen second cousin).
  • Transformation Trinket: Like Ming and Wu, they each have one to keep their panda spirits under control in the form of a ring, brooch, hair stick, and pair of earrings for Ping, Chen, Helen and Lily, respectively.

    Sun Yee
Click here to see her Astral Plane/red panda form
Meilin's and Ming's most famous and revered ancestor, the guardian of the red pandas. The family runs a temple and tourist attraction in her honour, located in Toronto's Chinatown.
  • Action Mom: Thanks to her being granted the power of a red panda spirit, she was able to defend her daughters and her village in the absence of the men in her village.
  • Animal Lover: She looked after the well-being of animals in general, but was particularly fond of the red panda and the red pandas in turn apparently loved her to the point that a god or gods associated with red pandas gifted her with their form.
  • Bargain with Heaven: With all the men of her village dead or gone to war, Sun Yee prayed to her gods for a way to protect her family and her village from bandits. The Red Panda Blessing was their response. It's unclear what Sun Yee's side of the bargain was, but it might have been in exchange for continuing to defend and care for the red panda population.
  • Big Good: Sun Yee is the posthumous type of the movie. She was Meilin's and Ming's most famous and revered ancestor, the guardian of the red pandas. Thanks to her being granted the power of a red panda spirit, she was able to defend her daughters and her village in the absence of the men in her village.
  • Hero of Another Story: Sun Yee was a medical woman and Animal Lover who prayed for a miracle during times of war and was given the power of the red panda in response, a plot that would make a Feminist Fantasy epic in its own right. She also passed on that ability to her female descendants. For that, she's been worshipped as far down the line as the early 21st century, despite the fact that she was alive during the Ming dynasty.note 
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Platonic variant. While she certainly isn't happy that her later descendants have rejected her blessing, she makes no attempt to sway them otherwise, even being the one to actively open the mirror portal to allow them to separate from their red panda spirits. If they are genuinely happier without them, then she respects that.
  • Magical Floating Shawl: Sun Yee is portrayed with a red stole floating around her, both in an etching in the family temple and on the astral plane, in both her human and red panda forms. On the astral plane, she uses the stole to form the mirror-gate that separates a person from their red panda spirit and returns them to the normal world.
  • Mama Bear: When China was consumed by war in the Ming Dynasty, and all the men were slain or gone into the army, what survived of her family and home were endangered. She prayed to the Gods for salvation. For her love and kindness towards nature, they answered her prayers, and Sun Yee was blessed with a red panda spirit that enabled her to transform into a giant red panda. She destroyed the bandits who threatened her village and her two beloved daughters.
  • Meaningful Name: The Chinese transcription of her name (新怡) can be seen in the name of the temple honouring her. While it's not confirmed whether 'Sun' is her family name or the first part of her given name, the name means "new joy" in Chinese, using the Cantonese pronunciation.
  • Phosphor-Essence: Being the woman in the family who directly received the blessing of the Gods, Sun Yee has the most divine appearance of any character in the film. When she appears on the astral plane, she has a misty, insubstantial appearance, with an ethereal glow around her head.
  • Power Floats: When she appears on the astral plane, she floats well above the ground, and can even carry Mei with her.
  • So Proud of You: After Mei embraces her red panda spirit, Sun Yee is clearly overjoyed, grabbing her and taking her above the spirit forest and giving her a brilliant smile while both are in their transformed states.
  • Spirited Young Lady: Implied to have been one in her youth. Background details state that she lived at some point during China's Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1368–1644). However, in spite of living in a historically misogynistic time period where women were seen as inferior and their education was often not prioritized, Sun Yee is also described as a scholar and a poet, implying she was more educated than most women were in her time. She has also presented herself as a devoted and loving mother.
  • Transformation Conventions: Even though she's a Animal Lover, her favorite animals are red pandas. It's a no-brainer that, when blessed by the deities, she and her female descendants are granted the ability to shapeshift into red pandas, if gigantic ones. Additionally, Sun Yee is a Mama Bear, so it's also a pun on that.
  • The Voiceless: Sun Yee never says a word, enforcing her mystical imposing stature. She only wants her children's children to be happy, and lets her descendants' own words, choices, and actions be her voice, respecting whether they want to embrace the red panda spirit or seal it away.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: She had complete mastery of the Blessing of the Gods, and the Kesi tapestries depict how she could assume a motherly red panda form when caressing her loved ones, and a literal Mama Bear kaiju form resembling Ming's gigantic form in the climax when defending her children from their enemies.

Mei's Friends

    Mei's friends in general
Priya (left), Miriam (center), Abby (right) Not pictured (spoilers)
Mei's group of loyal and caring best friends. Consisting of Miriam, Priya and Abby.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Mei and her friends all primarily wear one color: Mei is red (later pink), Miriam is green, Priya is yellow, Abby is purple, and Tyler is blue.
  • Crazy-Prepared: During the panda hustle scene, they are shown to have had the foresight to set up the classroom they are using in a way that allows them to disguise it as a normal classroom should anyone come snooping.
  • Easily Forgiven: Although they were understandably a bit frosty towards Mei after she threw them under the bus and let her mom blame them (Miriam especially), they quickly understand Mei's predicament once she explains it and quickly forgive her once she owns up to it. Justified, in that they couldn't have possibly have raised CA$800 without panda-Mei's help.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite their dislike of Tyler, even they are horrified when Mei attacks him during his birthday party and, albeit to no avail, try and stop her; first by holding her back when Tyler starts bullying her, then by telling her that she's hurting him after she pounces on him.
  • Fangirl: Alongside Mei, they're all fans of 4*Town.
  • Five-Token Band: Along with Mei, who's Chinese, you have Miriam who's white (and also implied to be Jewish), Priya who's Desi/Indian, and Abby who's Korean. The fifth member, Tyler, is biracial of Vietnamese and Black origins.
  • Friends Are Chosen, Family Aren't:
    • It's shown that Mei feels closer to her friends than she does her own family, in that she's allowed to be herself, flaws and all, around them compared to the perfect façade she has to put on around Ming. Notably, while Ming and Jin don't do much to help Mei even as she's actively harming herself trying to repress the panda, her friends immediately understand that she's still herself and embrace her regardless, allowing Mei to eventually come to terms with it and accept the panda as a part of herself.
    • Though not focused on in detail, it's implied all of Mei's friends feel the same way about each other. Priya and Abby's parents are offhandedly implied to be fairly strict (albeit not to Ming's extent), and they plus Miriam are constantly going behind their parents' backs to go on adventures (notably the panda racket) with Mei, acting as themselves with nothing to hide around each other.
  • Friendship Trinket: Mei and her group of friends all wear woven friendship bracelets with one thread representing each girl (Red = Mei, Green = Miriam, Purple = Abby and Yellow = Priya). After Tyler joins the group, he is also given a bracelet as well.
  • Leitmotif "Nobody Like U" essentially serves as a diagetic variant of this for them, with them singing it at multiple points in the movie. It's clearly meant to represent their friendship with Mei.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Their friendship and loyalty towards Mei allows her to regain her human form around them, and it's through thinking of them that she learns to control and eventually embrace her panda form.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Ming accuses them of manipulating Mei into flaunting her panda form, and Mei doesn't set the record straight on the spot.
  • Nice Girl: Mei's friends are defined by their good character. They're shown throughout the film to be supportive and encouraging of Mei as she learns to control her panda, and even after the Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure, Miriam still takes care of Mei's Tamagotchi.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: During the panda hustle sequence, they manage to appropriate a bathroom stall and turn it into a merchandise stall.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: They all make their eyes big while saying "Please..." to convince Mei to come karaokeing with them.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Initially, Abby is the excitable Red Oni to Miriam, Mei, and Priya's more levelheaded Blue Onis. After Mei gets more comfortable with her red panda form, she becomes more of a hyped-up and excitable individual which makes the dynamic evenly balanced out between the four of them. When Tyler joins the group, he stands somewhere in-between but leans more into "Blue Oni" territory.
  • Tritagonist: All three of them share this role to Mei's Protagonist and Ming's Deuteragonist, with their friendship with Mei serving as one of the film's emotional cores.
  • True Companions: They are definitely this. When they see her red panda form for the first time, instead of shunning her, they compliment her new ability and assure her that they love her no matter what. Throughout the rest of the story, they stick by her through thick and thin, and are even willing to forgive her betrayal of them at Tyler's party. This is even more exemplified when they help with the ritural to restore Ming back to normal, showing they're willing to help their best friend no matter what the situation might be.
  • Town Girls: At first glance it might seem that Abby is the Femme, Priya the Neither and Miriam the Butch, but in reality it is much more complex than that since as indicated in her own character pages, Miriam is externally masculine but internally feminine, while Abby is outwardly feminine but inwardly masculine. However, Priya is clearly in the middle of the two.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Mei and each other. They will always stand by Mei's side, "panda or no panda", and quickly forgive her after their Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: None of them are particularly impressed with Mei when she fails to stand up for her friends and react accordingly.

    Miriam Mendelsohn
Voiced by: Ava Morse (English)
Mei's school friend, and with Priya and Abby makes up her group of best friends. She's the tomboyish one of the gang.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Mei seems to like just calling her "Mir".
  • Alliterative Name: Miriam Mendelsohn.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: She has curly hair, a distinctly Hebrew first name, and a Polish/German Jewish surname, but it's otherwise not confirmed whether or not she's Jewish.
  • Best Friend: She's heavily implied to be this to Mei amongst her group of besties, being the one to interact with her the most, on top of being the first to comfort and reach out to Mei when things go awry. The film's page on Pixar's website seemingly confirms her to be this by stating that "she's the bestest best bestie a girl could ever have". Subsequently, she appears to be the most hurt when Mei didn't stand up to her mother for them.
  • Celeb Crush: She has a special one for Aaron T from the Boy Band 4*Town.
  • Color Motif: Wears mostly green, from her beanie to her flannel and pants. She even has a green bracelet and green eyes as well.
  • Cuddle Bug: Clearly is pleased with The Glomp Mei gives her after being gifted a home-burned 4*Town CD and is frequently the one initiating casual affectionate touches with the rest of the group, including the Group Hug that cements the girls' acceptance of Mei's panda form.
  • Easily Forgiven: While understandably bitter that Mei "threw [them] under the bus" in Ming's Misplaced Retribution, she accepts her back during the concert after hearing how genuinely sorry she is for not standing up for them before.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The realist. She is the first to reassure the others in a panic and start looking for the simplest solution to their problems.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The phlegmatic. Miriam is the most patient and levelheaded of the girls, befitting her role as Team Mom.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Downplayed and enforced. While it doesn't come off as outright terrible, Ava Morse was told to have Miriam "sing bad" when she's trying to cheer up Mei and starts singing "Nobody Like U."
  • Meaningful Name: 'Miriam' is an alternate form of the name 'Mary', the mother of Jesus, and Miriam is the Team Mom of her squad.
  • The "Mom" Voice: On the rooftop at Tyler's house, Miriam uses the "compassionate and supporting" variant of this voice to compliment Mei on how far she's come in learning to be her own person, and to suggest that Mei keep her red panda spirit instead of banishing it.
  • Never Bareheaded: She's never seen without her green toque, even during gym class.
  • Nice Girl: A very laid-back, friendly girl who helps Mei deal with her anxieties and forgives her very easily after the Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Plays this role for Mei. Of the girls they interact the most and appear to be the closest, but the film depicts their relationship as entirely platonic. Ming finds her influence over Mei to be the most objectionable and the plot reaches its climax when Mei abandons the ritual to reconcile with Miriam.
  • Only Sane Woman: Between Mei's Animorphism, Abby's Hot-Blooded nature and Priya's stoicism, Miriam's the most down-to-earth of her friend group.
  • Pubescent Braces: She is 13 and is shown to wear braces.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: She beatboxes by saying the words "boots and cats".
  • Shipper on Deck: She, along with the rest of their friends, cheer Priya on as she dances closely with a goth girl.
  • So Proud of You: She says this to Mei as the four friends are talking on Tyler's roof, telling Mei how proud she is that Mei is becoming her own person, rather than the person Ming wants her to be.
  • Sudden Name Change: Her surname was said to be 'Wexler' in the "Nobody Like U" music video; however, according to the film's page on Pixar's website, her surname is 'Mendelsohn'.
  • Team Mom: She is the most levelheaded of the group, keeping the girls in check, and is the first to reach out to Mei to comfort her when she is depressed about the red panda situation. She is the voice of reason, and most empathetic of the trio of Mei's friends between the hyperactive Abby and the stoic Priya. Miriam also appears to be the most protective of her friends, especially when she suspects something bothers them.
  • Token White: She's white and the only non-Asian person among Mei's group of friends — Mei is Chinese, Priya is Indian, Abby is Korean, and Tyler is Black and Vietnamese.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's described as a bit of a tomboy, having the most masculine fashion sense of the four friends and carrying a skateboard at the beginning of the film, yet she's also the Team Mom in her circle of friends, and is head over heels over 4*Town like the rest of them.
  • Youthful Freckles: She has some light ones on her face, highlighting the fact that despite having hit some teenage milestones like crushing on boys, she's still just a kid trying to figure life out.

    Priya Mangal
Voiced by: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (English)
Mei's school friend, and with Miriam and Abby makes up her group of best friends. She's the most stoic member.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Swoons over both Devon and the members of 4*Town (with Jesse being her favourite) just as much as her friends, but also really, really gets along well with the goth chick at Tyler's party. Her friends seem to notice this, too, as Mei intentionally brings the goth to Priya, and the friends then encourage Priya while the two dance, smirking and nudging each other as they watch. This was confirmed after release by Pixar artist Andrea Goh.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Played for Laughs; she's not as belligerent as Abby, but when it comes to defending Mei, she poses as though she's about to cast a spell on someone and is even heard saying "I banish you!" to Tyler when he mocks Mei about the Daisy Mart incident.
  • Celeb Crush: She has a special one for Jesse from 4*Town.
  • Character Tic: Has a distinct sideways head bop when she's grooving or she's being snarky. She also has a tendency to wave her hands as though she's casting a spell when trying to intimidate people.
  • Color Motif: Wears a lot of yellow and tan.
  • Cool Big Sis: Is the most levelheaded of the group and is implied to be the oldest due to her being casually prepared for puberty.
  • Crazy-Prepared: She keeps extra deodorant and extra pads on hand, offering both to Mei when she thinks the cause of her panic is normal puberty—which makes sense as, judging by her figure in comparison to her three friends, she's experiencing puberty herself.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Nearly all her dialogue is said with a rather deadpan delivery.
  • Dreary Half-Lidded Eyes: She has a perpetually bored expression, though she acts as excitable as the rest of her friends.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Parent: Her parents are implied to be why she doesn't dress as a Goth despite acting like one. They apparently also won't let her go to concerts until she's 30.
  • Flat Joy: No matter how excited she may get, she rarely expresses her enthusiasm with a smile.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The cynic. A lighter example than most, but she has a very no-nonsense approach to reality and often points out the flaws in the logic of others. It helps her click immediately with the goth girl.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The melancholic. She is mature, stoic, empathetic, but also has a hidden sensitive side.
  • Goth: While she does not dress in typical goth clothing, besides black nail polish, her personality and interests match. She acts seemingly disinterested even if she isn't and has dark eyelids. During the game of charades, she chooses to act out "mortality", which only the goth girl attending the party can guess. She is a fan of the series Nightfall (a pastiche of The Twilight Saga) and vampires in general, as she's shown to try intimidating people by putting her hands in a scary vampire pose, and when she's resting on the roof, she has her arms crossed over her chest. She also expresses an interest in werewolves, asking Mei if she is one and saying she's always wanted a tail, and the Cthulhu Mythos, as she is faintly heard muttering "Thank Cthulhu" when Mei arrives at Tyler's party.
  • Not So Stoic: Priya usually maintains a disinterested frown on her face even when her voice and body language indicate she's actually excited, but she looks just as terrified as Abby and Miriam when the three scream at the sight of Mei's panda form. This is also generally seen during particularly emotional moments in general like when 4*Town starts singing on stage.
  • Perpetual Frowner: While she doesn't act glum, Priya's facial expression always bears heavy-lidded eyes and a mild frown, projecting a powerful "cool girl" image.
  • The Stoic: She wears a heavy-lidded, lightly sneering facial expression at all times, even when audibly excited or powerfully gesturing. She lets this fall away at certain moments — such as when screaming at the sight of Mei's panda form or smiling at Mei in reassurance — but even then, the stoic subtlety stands out against the over-the-top expressions of Mei, Miriam, and Abby.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Downplayed, but she wears glasses and is the most deadpan out of Mei's three friends.
  • Sudden Name Change: Her surname is said to be 'Dewan' in the "Nobody Like U" music video; however, according to the film's page on Pixar's website, her surname is 'Mangal'.

    Abby Park
Voiced by: Hyein Park (English)

Mei's school friend, and with Miriam and Priya makes up her group of best friends. She's the most wild, excitable, and loud member.

  • Acrofatic: She's chubby and the heaviest of her friends when Mei's not in panda mode, but as the gym class scene shows, she's very agile and quick on her feet.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: She assumes this when encountering Stacy and her girls in the restroom when they confront Mei and her friends.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: In both appearance and attitude, Abby is the youngest of the group. Physically she looks like a toddler: much shorter than the others, with a relatively large body and short stout limbs. Personality-wise, she's the most energetic and moody and has the least emotional control. Mei, Miriam, and Priya are all clearly aware of this, and it colors their attitude toward Abby. When she's begging Mei to transform because "a dose of panda" will help her think, all three of them react like she's a much-loved younger sibling who is being exceptionally childlike.
  • Berserk Button: Littering is a major one for her. Her Establishing Character Moment has her angrily ranting in Korean at some classmates for not binning their trash.
  • Bring It: She calls Tyler out and wants to fight him when he bullies Mei, saying, "You want a piece of me, huh?!"
  • Celeb Crush: She has a special one for Tae Young from 4*Town, which is implied to be because they're both Korean.
  • Color Motif: Wears mainly purple, and her eyes turn purple while gushing over how cute Mei's panda form is.
  • Cute and Psycho: A child-friendly version; despite her cute appearance, she really seems to love anything involving violence and is not afraid to get wild.
  • Cute Bruiser: Very much cute and since she acts as a bouncer for the group's red panda racket, and knocks down Mei with a single punch, they're aware that she's probably the strongest of the four (not counting Mei in her red panda form).
  • Cuteness Proximity: Abby is the first to gush over how cute Mei's red panda form is, even burying her face in her friend's fur. Later on, she requests a repeat of it as a reward in the school bathrooms, treating it like a security blanket of sorts, which ends up exposing Mei's panda form to others in the school.
  • The Cutie: While her rambunctious and boisterous nature downplays this trope, Abby still owes up to this title for her random hyperactivity, Cuteness Proximity over Mei's red panda, and innocent design consisting of shiny purple clothing and accessories with cute stickers, overalls, short stature, and having the demeanor of a younger sibling who the other girls try to keep in line due to her childlike antics.
  • The Dreaded: Downplayed example, but her hot-blooded nature seems to make her feared somewhat by her schoolmates. When she first appears ranting at three students for littering, all of them look nervous and jump when she kicks the paper at them, with the male student's knees actually trembling when that happens.
  • Fangirl: The Disney Magic Kingdoms sidequest "Ooh, Special Features" reveals that Abby is a fangirl of tokusatsu superhero shows, and when she gets invited to watch one on DVD at Tyler's house, she excitedly screams over how great the heroes in the show are at beating up bad guys. She also notes that it applies to her life since she and her friends are "five teens with attitude" with a favorite color and that Mei has a transformation sequence.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Abby mistakenly thought 4*Town was coming to Toronto on May 18th, when their concert was actually scheduled to later coincide on the Red Moon ritual. Realizing she can't possibly attend two events at once, the overstressed Mei hits her Rage Breaking Point at Tyler's party.
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: She starts yelling in Korean when she's angry, including after she finds out that the 4*Town concert is actually on the 25th instead of the 18th.
    Abby: (tearing up the 4*Town flyer) Ige mwoya? Tollido? Michingeoanya? Ige eodinde? (이게 뭐야? 톨리도? 미친거아냐? 이게 어딘데!)Translation (Spoilers) (in English) WHAT THE HECK IS TOLEDO?!
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The apathetic. Her immediate takeaway of Mei's situation is how fluffy and cute she is.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The choleric. She is hot blooded, bold, and assertive.
  • Genki Girl: She's quite loud, excitable, hyperactive, and crazy. During the dodgeball game, she has two balls in either hand and catches a third one thrown at her by biting it, like a dog. And in many scenes she's visibly vibrating.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: For the most part, Abby is pretty girly; she wears a pink sweater and purple overalls with flower decorations, heart-shaped earrings, a sparkly pink hair band in her long hair, and is the only one in the group who wears makeup. She's also the most prone to Cuteness Proximity out of her friends, and is crazy for boys and 4*Town just like them (probably even moreso). That said, she's still the loudest and most extroverted of her friends with more of a temper, and she is rather tough, strong and can even be downright aggressive at times.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: She sometimes breaks out into impassioned tirades in Korean to vent her excitability, such as when she's first introduced yelling at some of her schoolmates for littering, and in frustration when she realises she got the date that 4*Town was visiting Toronto wrong, and it's actually happening on the same night as Mei's ritual, with them visiting Toledo on the 18th instead.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It doesn't take much to set her off. Her introductory scene has her angrily ranting at some classmates for littering, and when she realizes that she got the date 4*Town was visiting Toronto wrong, she's angry enough to tear the poster to shreds on the spot.
  • Hot-Blooded: Abby is extremely loud, passionate, and over-the-top about everything. She's even always ready throw hands when it comes to defending Mei from the other kids.
  • Large Ham: Easily the biggest one among Mei's friends. She tends to be very loud and overly dramatic, especially when she's excited or angry.
  • Melting-Pot Nomenclature: She has a Korean family name, but her given name is a shortened form of 'Abigail', which is Hebrew in origin and is otherwise a Western name. It's unknown if this is because she's not fully Korean or if her parents gave her that name because it's more culturally relevant in Canada.
  • Mood-Swinger: She can switch between happy and angry at the drop of a hat. Her very first scene shows her angrily shouting at and scaring some classmates for littering, then cheerfully greeting Mei a few seconds later.
  • The Napoleon: The shortest in the friend group, as well as the loudest and with the shortest temper. She is introduced yelling at some other students.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: She misread the poster as to when 4*Town was going to be in Toronto; it turns out that they were going to be in Toledo on the 18th and Toronto on the 25th, the same day of Mei's panda ritual!
  • No Indoor Voice: Downplayed; while she can and does speak at a normal volume, she can still be very loud whenever she gets particularly excited or angry (which, given her Hot-Blooded personality, is often).
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Any time she drops her Genki Girl nature, the situation's gotten serious. Despite being excited to see Mei's panda form, Abby immediately calms down and tries to comfort her after seeing how distraught the latter is over it, and she becomes noticeably saddened after Mei betrays her, Miriam and Priya at the end of the second act. Notably, when she and the girls are at the 4*Town concert's ticket booth, she's resting her chin on the counter as if she doesn't even have the energy to hold her head up.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She's the shortest member of the group, but she can throw a punch hard enough to knock an untransformed Mei down and acts as the group's bouncer during their red panda racket.
  • Playful Cat Smile: Sports a mischievous smile whenever she's especially excited, fitting with her "mischievous oddball" personality.
  • Rough Overalls: Abby is the shortest and chubbiest of Mei's circle of friends, and wears purple overalls decorated with flowers over a pink turtleneck sweater. She's also the most energetic and rambunctious among her social circle, always ready for a fight, and still very girly and prone to Cuteness Overload.
  • Shipper on Deck: Along with the rest of her friends, she cheers Priya on as she dances closely with a goth girl.
  • Stout Strength: She's very short and chubby, but strong enough to knock an untransformed Mei down with a single punch and act as the group's bouncer during their red panda racket.


    Tyler Nguyen-Baker
Voiced by: Tristan Allerick Chen (English)
A boy in Mei's class who is constantly harassing her.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Zig-Zagged. While his actions towards Mei can be presumed to be the actions of a Loving Bully, he never shows overt attraction to the girls, but he screams that he loves Aaron Z at the 4*Town concert; while it could be assumed that he loves Aaron as a musician, this behavior is juxtaposed with Mei and her friends, who explicitly have crushes on the other four boys in the band.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Assuming his birthday party is happening on the same date as his actual birthday, it's when he gets attacked by Mei in panda form after he insults her mother and family temple.
  • Break the Haughty: He's reduced to a sobbing wreck after he antagonizes Mei one too many times and gets knocked around and roared at by her giant panda form.
  • The Bully: He is frequently antagonistic and insulting towards Mei. His first scene has him calling her an "overachieving dork-narc" before chasing her when she accidentally pops his basketball. He then deliberately draws attention towards her during the Daisy Mart incident and posts her drawings of Devon all over the school the next day.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Even after finding out that Mei can turn into a giant red panda, he thinks that blackmailing her is a good idea to improve his birthday party. Naturally, this goes wrong when Mei hits her Rage Breaking Point after he insults her one too many times.
  • Bully Turned Buddy: He spends much of the movie insulting and harassing Mei. During the 4*Town concert, when Mei and her friends discover he's also a fan of the group, they hug and welcome him into the "sisterhood". After the climax, it's revealed that he now hangs out with Mei and her friends, and he even wears a friendship bracelet that matches theirs.
  • Celeb Crush: Is implied to have one on Aaron Z.
  • Character Development: Goes from a school jerkass to being part of Mei's inner circle of best friends.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Gets one when Mei angrily hurls a dodgeball at him with her panda arm that carves a bit out of his tall mop of hair. He's left half-crouched in shock at the near-miss, which would probably have taken his whole head off had it not missed.
  • Color Motif: Wears a lot of dark blue.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The music video of 4*Town's song, "1 True Love", focuses on Tyler and his insecurities of being a secret 4*Townie, thus serving a prequel of sorts.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Quite often makes sarcastic quips at the expense of Mei and her friends.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite all of the bullying and trouble he's put Mei through over the course of the movie, most notably at his birthday party, the girls are quick to accept him into their friendship group once they learn that he is a fellow "4★Townie".
  • Fangirl: He is a Gender-Inverted version of this trope for Aaron Z of 4*Town, to the point of wearing a similar outfit.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: The conflicted. Deep down, he really just wants to fit in and have friends. He is very concerned with appearance and reputation, and he is afraid of being made fun of for being a 4*Town fan when Mei and her friends notice him at the concert.
  • Friendless Background: Implied. At first, he is shown by himself and has no known friends, with Priya even directly stating that no one likes him. When Abby turns him away at the classroom door, no one objects; the next kid in line just pushes him out of the way. When he asks Mei to come to his birthday party, he says, "If you're there, everyone will come." At his party, it is clear that everyone is there for Mei instead of him. As he looks for Mei outside at his party, he is the only person by himself; everyone else is in small groups. He even goes to the 4*Town concert by himself. He finally makes friends when Mei and her friends adopt him into their group after discovering at the concert that he is also a 4*Town fan.
  • Hypocrite: He spitefully calls Mei a "narc" in his introductory scene, yet he later threatens to tell Mei's parents about how she's been using her red panda form to make money.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Like the Friendless Background trope, this is also implied with Tyler. He is determined to have everyone come to his party, and in the end, doesn't seem to be against joining Mei's friend group despite seeing them as "weirdos" earlier in the movie.
  • Jerk Jock: He dresses like a stereotypical one, complete with a sweatband, his Establishing Character Moment shows him playing basketball. And the music video of 4*Town's song, "1 True Love" shows a picture of him holding a 1st Place trophy for a junior hockey league.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Mei doesn't contest him when he says that her mom is a creepy stalker.
    • He's right that he's done Mei a favor by keeping his mouth shut about her hustling the panda from her mother weeks before he wanted to throw a party, given how Mei and her friends try to exclude him from any panda activities as much as possible.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He may be a bully and a jerk to Mei, but he's not a bad guy. Despite blackmailing Mei into attending his party and having no reason to agree to anything she demands, he agrees to pay her the 200 dollars she needs for the concert, along with her other conditions of only staying for an hour and not bringing any birthday presents, and is also quite friendly towards the party guests (including Mei and her frieds) up until he ends up pounding Mei's Berserk Button, causing the latter to attack him. After he's revealed to be a fan of 4*Town, he gives up his prior antagonism and becomes part of Mei's friend group.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: His Birthday Party Gone Wrong is his fault. He tries to appear cool, but everyone is bored until Mei arrives and livens things up while in her red panda form. Then when he attempts to bully her into continuing the entertainment, showing No Sympathy when she says she needs time alone, Mei tackles him and roars in his face. All he can do is cry and say that he's sorry.
  • Leitmotif: The film's score plays a low blaring synth note whenever Tyler is involved or enters the scene.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Despite being rich, he doesn't have any friends of his own. During his birthday party, he's notably the only person by himself, and everyone at the party is there for Mei and not him. However, he eventually becomes part of Mei's friend group after they discover his love for 4*Town.
  • Meaningful Appearance: Tyler wears a sports headband and short-sleeved gym attire, befitting his Jerk Jock characterization and skills. Furthermore, with the addition of ear piercings, this matches the look of Aaron Z. of 4★Town. Tyler is one of Aaron Z's biggest fans (in part due to their shared heritage), and he modeled his looks after the singer.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gets several over the course of the film, usually as a result of ticking off Mei a bit too much.
  • The One Guy: As of the end of the film, he has become this in Mei's circle of friends, sporting the group's friendship bracelet and everything.
  • One of the Girls: After becoming friends with Mei's gang, he enthusiastically shares in their love of 4*Town when they hang out together.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: When he finds out that Mei can turn into a panda and has been using it to raise concert money, he blackmails her into being the star of his birthday party. This goes wrong when he attempts to micromanage her as soon as she tries to take a break, and she says she needs some time alone after finding out the concert is the same night as the ritual.
  • Pet the Dog: A small one before becoming one of Mei's friends, but he accepts all of Mei's conditions if he wants to include her panda at his birthday party, no questions asked. It's also likely that if the concert wasn't revealed to being come on the same night as the red panda ritual and drove her to her Rage Breaking Point, Tyler would've paid Mei back right then and there
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Tyler's the blue boy to Mei's pink girl. Mei wears a pink shirt (particularly noticeable once she embraces her panda form and ditches her red cardigan) while Tyler wears a blue basketball uniform and headband.
  • Pubescent Braces: He is 13 and is shown to wear braces.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He turns out to secretly be a fan of 4*Town, even gushing over Aaron Z. in particular.
  • Rich Bitch: Begins the story as a rude and snobbish character, and he has a big house and access to a lot of money courtesy of his presumably rich parents, as he treats giving Mei CA$200 in return for going to his party as no big deal.
  • Secretly Wealthy: In the second act, he's revealed to come from a wealthy background, as his family owns a mansion, and he can pay Mei 200 dollars without hesitation.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Mei. The two frequently bicker and insult each other, and both have conspired against each other on separate occasions with Tyler humiliating Mei at the Daisy Mart and at school and Mei forbidding Tyler from getting pics with her panda form. Following the reveal of Tyler's love for 4*Town, however, the two are shown to be on far better terms.
  • Sixth Ranger: He starts the movie off on bad terms with Mei, but eventually joins her friend group after they discover his love of 4*Town.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After being accepted into Mei's friend group, he becomes much friendlier and doesn't bully her anymore.
  • Twofer Token Minority: His father is black-Canadian, and his mother is Vietnamese.
  • Unmanly Secret: He is mortified when Mei and her friends spot him at the 4*Town concert.

    Carter Murphy-Mayhew
A goth boy Mei develops a crush on.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Briefly appears in the background during the opening sequence when another goth calls Mei a "major weirdo", a while before he's officially introduced, and Mei develops a crush on him.
  • Goth: He wears all black, has a grim demeanor and often hangs around other goths.
  • Hair Flip: He flips his hair while about to open his locker, causing Mei to see him with a Crush Filter.
  • Not So Above It All: Generally, keeps a stoic demeanor, but he and the other goths get a picture taken with panda Mei and he silently approves when she gets a paw print on his shirt.
  • Not So Stoic: He's visibly terrified when Mei attacks Tyler in her panda form.
  • One of the Girls: His friend group appears to consist of two unnamed goth girls.
  • Satellite Love Interest: His characterization boils down to "that goth boy Mei has a crush on", and he doesn't speak or show much character otherwise.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Not as much as Stacy, but his silent approval of Mei leaving a paw print on his shirt is what inspires her and her friends to start selling red panda merch.
  • The Stoic: Being a goth, he doesn't express much emotion.
  • The Voiceless: Never speaks during any of his appearances.

    Stacy Frick
Voiced by: Lily Sanfelippo (English)
One of Mei's classmates and the one who inspires her to capitalize on her red panda form.
  • All There in the Manual: Her full name comes from the novelization, as she's only known by her given name in the film proper.
  • Big "OMG!": She lets out one upon seeing Mei's red panda form in the bathroom.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She briefly appears when Mei (in her red panda form) runs into her in the bathroom. Stacy later reappears during Mei's dodgeball game, where she puts the dots together and realizes that Mei was the red panda she saw two days before. The reveal that she actually finds Mei's red panda form adorable gives Mei and her friends the idea to exploit its cuteness for money.
  • Class Princess: Her characterization is limited by her short time onscreen, but she is definitely a social leader, something of a fashionista, seems to have rich parents, and has her own Girl Posse — all the makings of an Alpha Bitch. But she doesn't act like an Alpha Bitch; on the contrary, she seems quite a Nice Girl herself. Not only does she not bully Mei, but she finds Mei's red panda form adorable.
  • Delicate and Sickly: Downplayed. She has a glucose monitor patch on her arm, indicating that she has diabetes. However, she appears healthy, attends a regular school, and has an active social life, all signs that her diabetes is well-controlled. Truth in Television: diabetes is a nasty and potentially lethal disorder that requires daily treatment and monitoring, but when it's properly controlled, the person can live an entirely normal life.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She has blonde hair and is the first person outside of Mei's circle of friends to openly embrace Mei's animorphism abilities, finding her red panda form cute.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Frick' can be synonymous with "crap", and she is introduced via an Oh, Crap! moment for Mei.
  • Pretty Butterflies: She wears butterfly clips in her hair, adding to her cute appearance.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: While she is a minor character who only appears in a couple of scenes, her reaction to Mei's red panda form is what gives Mei and her friends the idea to profit off of it, essentially kickstarting the events of the second and third acts of the film.
  • Valley Girl: She tends to speak this way given her use of "OMG" twice. She seems very fashion-conscious and wealthy.note  She is implied to be not that smart since Mei's friends believe they can convince her that she imagined seeing Mei in panda form twice.


Voiced by: Addie Chandler (English)
A clerk at Daisy Mart.
  • Big "WHAT?!": He's understandably shocked when Ming shows him Mei's fantasy drawings, especially since he doesn't have any affiliation with the latter beyond her being just another customer.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Mei, Miriam, Abby and Priya all fall in love with him early on, which he is completely oblivious to. When Ming reveals Mei's crush to him, he's left very confused and uncomfortable about the situation.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Reflecting his lethargy, he's got noticeable bags under his eyes.
  • Flat Character: All we really know about him is that he's 17 and tired while doing his job. He can also be seen having a good time in the background during the concert, revealing he is also a 4*Townie.
  • Hidden Depths: A Freeze-Frame Bonus at the concert shows that he's also a fan of 4*Town, and it's possible he was working his job to pay for his ticket.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Played for Laughs. He seems incredibly ordinary, even burnt out and scruffy, but Mei's friends are obsessed with his supposed "hotness". Mei herself doesn't get what her friends see in him, until she finds herself fantasizing about him as well. Priya more or less admits that the reason they like him is because he's there, while legendary hotties like 4*Town are much harder to come by.
  • Mistaken Age: Ming assumes that he's 30 when he's actually 17.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Downplayed, as he's 17, but Ming assumes that he's been romantically involved with the 13-year-old Mei just because of some suggestive drawings Mei made as a result of her Precocious Crush on him.
  • Not So Stoic: Generally unexpressive due to his extreme tiredness, but he's visibly unsettled and confused when Ming presents Mei's drawings of him to the point of letting out a Big "WHAT?!".
  • Satellite Love Interest: He only exists to be the target of the girls' affections.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He's a rather minor character, but the incident with him and Mei's mom seems to be the impetus for Mei's transformation, or at least an early sign of it.
  • Soul-Sucking Retail Job: Implied with how tired and unfocused he appears, along with dark eyebags. Even when Ming accuses him of something really horrible, he seems so out-of-it, he doesn't understand what is going on and doesn't even try to defend himself, simply answering what he's asked and only seeming to realize what's going on when he sees the pictures and looks at Mei. However, given that he's later revealed to be a 4*Townie, it's possible that he's just been putting himself through overtime work so that he can afford the tickets to their performance at the SkyDome.
  • The Stoic: Due to his general lethargy and tiredness, he doesn't emote much. Even Ming accusing him of being a pedophile gets little more than slight confusion out of him.
  • The Stoner: Unconfirmed, but Ming suspects this is why he's so lethargic and, in her opinion, looks much older than he is.
  • Youthful Freckles: Has some almost noticeable ones on his face indicating, though he looks older than he is, he is clearly not 30 as Ming accuses him of being.

From left to right: Jesse, Tae Young, Robaire, Aaron T., and Aaron Z.
Voiced by: Finneas O'Connell (Jesse), Grayson Villanueva (Tae Young), Jordan Fisher (Robaire), Topher Ngo (Aaron T.), Josh Levi (Aaron Z.)
A popular boy band whom the girls are ga-ga for. The members consist of Robaire, Jesse, Aaron T., Aaron Z., and Tae Young.
  • And the Rest: As Mei describes them, three members have a specific persona and hobby, while the last two (Aaron Z. and Aaron T.) are tacked on almost as an afterthought. Tyler at least seems to love Z., so it might just be that Mei thinks less of the Aarons and it shows in her description of the band.
  • Animal Lover: In Tae Young's official description, it is said that he is dedicated to wildlife rehabilitation and has personally fostered injured doves back to health between tours.
  • Artifact Title: 4*Town was originally a four-man band before their fifth member joined, but they kept their original name.
  • Artists Are Attractive: Jesse is a former art student who specializes in ceramics, and Mei cites the fact that he went to art school as the reason why he's attractive, along with an Imagine Spot of him working at a potter's wheel.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: The creators have confirmed that Tae Young is the youngest member of the band. He acts the most childish of the five which can be seen during Panda Ming's rampage at the concert, with him sucking his thumb while dangling from the ceiling by his harness in the fetal position.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Their singing, interwoven with the Lees', helps complete the ritual to restore Ming to normal.
  • Boy Band: They are your typical band made up of five Pretty Boys with a ton of screaming fangirls, in the vein of Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. As far as fictional boy bands go, the trope is played straight with very little irony, especially since the film takes place in the early 2000s when boy bands were still at the height of their popularity in North America.
  • Celeb Crush: To Mei and her friends, each one favoring a single member in particular: Robaire for Mei, Aaron T for Miriam, Jesse for Priya, and Tae Young for Abby. The one-to-one comparison is completed with the discovery that Tyler is a 4*Townie himself, all decked out in Aaron Z merch.
  • Colour Motif: Each of them appear to have a signature colour associated with them, reflected somewhat in their default attire:
    • Robaire has green shoes.
    • Jesse has light/sky blue shoes.
    • Tae Young has pink shoes.
    • Aaron T. has yellow shoes.
    • Aaron Z. has puce/purple shoes and matching sweatband.
  • Creator Cameo: Jesse is voiced by Finneas O'Connell, who co-composed 4*Town's music.
  • The Cutie: Tae Young's role in the band is the cute one, as designated by him being the youngest, having big eyes, a button nose, eye-obscuring bangs, wearing guyliner, and being an animal lover.
  • Distressed Dude: Ming interrupts their concert while they're attached to harnesses and they spend most of her rampage helplessly dangling in the air as a result.
  • The Dividual: Aaron T and Aaron Z are almost always next to each other, to the point it's difficult for casual viewers to tell which is which. It's particularly noticeable that Mei elaborately describes Robaire, Jesse, and Tae Young's unique traits and then passes over Aaron T and Aaron Z with a simple, "Oh, they're talented too."
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Tyler is a huge fan of them (and loves Aaron Z. in particular), and some male attendees can be spotted in the audience, including Devon.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: One of the reasons why Mei is into Robaire is because he can speak French. Invoked by his name, which ought to be spelled "Robert" like its English equivalent; clearly the creative forces behind the band sought to capitalize on this trope by spelling their leading man's name in a way that made its French pronunciation immediately apparent.
  • Fan Community Nicknames: In-universe. Fans of 4*Town are called 4*Townies.
  • Five-Token Band: Robaire is Black, Tae Young is East Asian (Korean by his name), and Aaron Z is both; Jesse is white, and Aaron T is Ambiguously Brown, portrayed by a singer of Vietnamese heritage.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Tae Young is shown to be loved by animals especially birds. This is shown when a dove with an injured leg nuzzles up to him.
  • Guyliner: Tae Young wears eyeliner and light blue nail polish.
  • Heroic Bystander: Thanks to some convincing from Mei's best friend squad, the boys use their angelic voices to power the binding circle to save Ming.
  • Inconsistent Spelling: Some official materials spell Tae Young's name as "Tae-yung".
  • Intimate Open Shirt: Robaire falls into this trope as he wears an outfit that does reveal a bit of his belly. His navel gets more noticeable when he jumps or anything similar. It's more noticeable in the Turning Red Manga artwork by Viz Media.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Tae Young not only likes to wear makeup and paint his nails, but he also has a taste for things related to romance and love. In Mei's fantasy, when Robaire proposes to her, a visibly moved Tae Young is shown touching his chest tenderly and in various poses he makes heart signs with his hands while showing a delicate smile.
  • Magic Music: They are able to use their singing to help complete the ritual in the climax.
  • Meaningful Name: Tae Young is the youngest member of the band.
  • Nice Guy: Despite being big celebrities, all of them seem to be approachable and relatively easygoing, with them helping with the ritual that separates the female members of the Lee families from their panda forms because Mei's friends asked them, and even posing with everyone for a signed photo. Notably, the music has to come from the heart, meaning their song was entirely genuine. Tae Young in particular stands out for also being a Animal Lover.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The band is called 4*Town, but there are five members — this is lampshaded by Mei's mother, Ming. If Mei knows the reason behind the band's name, she doesn't divulge it to Ming, as at the time she's unwilling to admit being familiar with them. It's All There in the Manual that they took on that name when there were only four of them, and thus hung onto their Artifact Title after the fifth man was added.
  • Older Than They Look: Jesse shares the same adolescent Pretty Boy looks as the others, but supplemental materials suggest he's older than his bandmates by a huge margin: he's described as the one who'd get the others beer, he's a college graduate, and he has two children. The spin-off manga reveals him as 28, six years older than the second-oldest member.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. There are two Aarons in this group, namely Aaron T., the group's comedian, and Aaron Z., the group's athlete and main dancer.
  • Orange/Blue Contrast: They all wear orange shirts with blue jeans.
  • Palette Swap: Each of them wear white versions of their usual clothes when performing at the SkyDome.
  • Pretty Boy: All five of them have clean-shaven boyish looks, befitting a late-1990s/early-2000s Boy Band that mostly appeals to teenage girls.
  • Single Tear: Robaire sheds a lone tear while singing to help Mei's family., most likely from seeing Mei, her friends and her family working together to restore Ming to normal.
  • Sixth Ranger: Or rather fifth; while it's not stated in the film which of them was the fifth man (4★Town 4★Real confirms it was Aaron T.), All There in the Manual states that they're called 4*Town because there used to be four members.
  • True Companions: To each other. In a brief moment during Ming's rampage, they can be seen trying to get the last member of their group out of his harness, with the rest being completely free to flee the giant red screaming kaiju that crashed their concert, yet they stay to make sure all of them get out okay.
  • Vague Age: The 4*Town website bios mention Jesse being both a former college student and a father of two. With all of them looking similar in age, there's no real clarification of how old he or the others are, just that they're younger than Ming and adults in her age group. According to Domee Shi, Jesse's around 26, and the others are roughly in their late teens/early 20s. The spin-off manga would eventually confirm their exact ages: Jesse is 28, Robaire and Aaron Z. are 22, Aaron T. is 20, and Tae Young is 18.

    Mr. Gao
Voiced by: James Hong (English)
A community elder who Mei's family calls on to lead the ritual to attempt to seal away the Red Panda spirit.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A community elder, an experienced shaman, and the one able to lead the ritual to seal the red panda spirit away. Also fun-loving and loves Tony Bennett songs.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: He's first seen playing chess at the beginning of the movie, and later on, he watches with awe as Mei leaps over his house in her red panda form. He's not important until the night of the red moon, when he leads the ritual to try sealing away Mei's panda spirit.
  • Cool Old Guy: An elderly shaman who likes listening to Tony Bennett. He also does his best to calm Mei's nerves before the red moon ritual, and also joins in the group selfie with Mei, her family, her friends, and 4*Town.
  • Eyes Always Shut: His eyes are typically closed, fitting with his laid-back personality. However, he does occasionally open them when surprised.
  • Magical Asian: Albeit among a cast of other Chinese-Canadians, most of whom are also magical, but he is an expert on the mystical events of the film, and is the leader of the ritual to remove the red panda spirits.
  • Old Master: He's had 50 years of experience as a shaman, and is implied to be the same age as, if not older than, Mei's grandmother.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Whilst not a fighter, he is still an expert in the mystical events of the film, and able to keep it together during the climax of the film as Ming's kaiju-sized red panda form rampages through the Toronto SkyDome. Though all of Mei's family chant a traditional Chinese mantra during the sealing ritual, he says what's truly important is singing from the heart, and then adds he would prefer to sing Tony Bennett songs.

    Mr. Kieslowski
Voiced by: Shasha Roiz (English)
The math and gym teacher at Mei's middle school.
  • Cool Teacher: He often tries to make his lessons as fun as possible, and is generally quite nice to the students.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When lecturing on the quadratic formula, he's decidedly snarky about the class's lack of interest:
    Mr. Kieslowski: Who can tell me how the formula begins? X equals... (no one answers) What a surprise. No one.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • In a comedic variant of this, he visible and audibly cringes when Ming holds up Mei's pads outside the window. Yeah, even he finds Ming's antics embarrassing.
    • Despite being a Cool Teacher, even he's shocked when he sees Mei throw a dodgeball at Tyler's head with such force that breaks the window of one of the classrooms. He considers it an illegal throw and has Mei removed from the game.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite trying to get his students to settle down, even he shows slight amusement when he sees the interaction between Ming and the security guard on the school ground.